Adam Wade presented Brandon Burlsworth award for 'Burls Way'
GREEN FOREST -- GFHS Tiger senior lineman Adam Wade was honored last week with the Brandon Burlsworth Football Award for his strong work ethic, character, and a desire to do it "The Burls Way," a willingness to go beyond what is asked of him.
Athletic Director Bill Gotto and Assistant Head Coach Tony Coffey presented Wade with the award, which is presented each year to a Green Forest football player who demonstrates a desire to succeed at the highest levels.
Wade was a three-year starter at center, and guard on both offense and defense. He is a two-time 1AAA All-Conference player. Coach Gotto said, "He was a hard worker, tough, and always knew his assignment."
Burlsworth, a former Harrison High School standout, went from a walk-on with the Arkansas Razorbacks to a National Football League draft pick.
He was a four-year letterman for the Razorbacks in 1995-98 and started 34 consecutive games. He was solid as a rock on the practice and playing fields, and excelled in the classroom.
He twice made the Dean's list, and four years running was named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree while playing as a junior, and became the first Razorback football player to earn a master's degree before he played his final game.
Burlsworth was twice named All-SEC, and in 1998 made All-American. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the 63rd pick in the 1999 draft and was projected as a starter.
But on April 28, 1999, he was tragically killed in an automobile accident going home to Harrison. His jersey, No. 77, is one of but two ever retired by the UofA program. The state of Arkansas was stunned to lose a young man who showed character, not only on the field of play, but also in the game of life.
This award originated from those events, and each year is presented by the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation statewide to deserving players.