Cornerback Brontae Harris named nominee for Burlsworth Trophy

UAB cornerback Brontae Harris has been named a nominee for this year's Burlsworth Trophy. (UAB Athletics)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Senior cornerback Brontae Harris has been named a nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

Harris is one of 67 players nationwide named a nominee and just one of six players from Conference USA.

A standout football and basketball player at Cullman High School, Harris signed with Alabama A&M in 2015 to play basketball after receiving zero offers to play football at the next level.

Harris quickly realized that his passion was still on the gridiron, and transferred to UAB in 2016 to help rebuild the Blazer football program from scratch. Harris was a walk-on during UAB’s practice season and earned a scholarship entering the 2017 campaign, UAB’s first year back on the field after a two-year hiatus.

Since then, Harris has been a lockdown corner and has helped the Blazers ascend as one of the top defensive units in the nation. Harris was an All-Conference USA selection in 2018, but missed the entire 2019 season with a foot injury.

He has returned in 2020 to lead the nation’s 12th ranked pass defense. Harris has 24 total tackles and an interception through seven games this year, and has once again proven to be a lockdown corner. For his career, he has 74 total tackles and four interceptions.

Now in its 11th season, the Burlsworth Trophy honors one player who began his first season of FBS football without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department. 

The award is named after Brandon Burlsworth, a former walk-on offensive lineman from the University of Arkansas who was a three-year starter and would go on to earn All-America honors.

The Burlsworth Trophy will host an awards ceremony virtually on January 4, 2021 to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2020 winner.

  • – Ted Feeley, UAB Athletics