Defensive end Gerald Williams earned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week accolades following his performance Saturday at Vanderbilt, while linebacker Nick Reveiz was announced as a nominee for the inaugural Burlsworth Trophy, created to recognize college football’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.
Williams posted a career-high eight tackles, including a pair of tackles-for-loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry in the Vols’ third consecutive win, a 24-10 decision at Vanderbilt. Williams also blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter as the Vols were clinging to a 14-3 lead. The rejection marked UT’s first since Dan Williams blocked Kentucky’s double-overtime attempt in 2007.
The Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., native ranks tied for second on the Vols with three-and-1/2 sacks and is slotted 17th in the SEC with 0.32 per contest.
Reveiz, who leads UT with 86 tackles and ranks eighth in the league, has been selected as a nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy after walking on for the Vols in 2007. To be considered for the award, a player must have begun his first season of participation with a Division I FBS football program without financial aid of any kind from the athletics department and must show outstanding performance on the field.
Reveiz has led five games in tackles this season, including two 14-tackle performances.
The Burlsworth Trophy was created in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former University of Arkansas walk-on in 1994 who earned All-America honors in 1998 as an offensive lineman for the Razorbacks. Burlsworth was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 63rd overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children that have limited opportunities.
Fourty-five student-athletes in Division I football were nominated for the award and finalists will be named Dec. 1. The winner will be announced Dec. 15 and a banquet will be held in their honor Feb. 7, in Springdale, Ark., hosted by the Springdale Rotary Club.