Brandon Burlsworth Car Accident happened near Alpena, Arkansas, and took his life on April 28, 1999.
Burlsworth’s journey through collegiate football is a remarkable tale of determination, dedication, and undeniable talent.
From 1995 to 1998, he donned the uniform of the Arkansas Razorbacks as an offensive lineman, etching his name into the annals of sports history.
His story began at Harrison High School in 1994, where he excelled as an All-State selection.
What set him apart was his decision to become a volunteer walk-on player at the University of Arkansas, bypassing scholarship offers from smaller universities.
Likewise, his collegiate career commenced with a redshirt year in 1994, during which he embarked on a transformative journey.
Shedding substantial weight, he transformed from a 300-pound frame into a lean 260-pound athlete.
Through sheer hard work, he rebuilt himself into a robust 300-pound offensive guard, earning a scholarship and a coveted starting position at right guard during his sophomore season in 1996.
Brandon Burlsworth Car Accident Linked Death Cause
Tragedy struck just eleven days after Brandon Burlsworth’s dream of playing in the NFL had come true when he was drafted.
On April 28, 1999, as he returned to his hometown of Harrison, Arkansas, following a workout in Fayetteville, a devastating car accident claimed his life.
The accident details were chilling: Burlsworth’s vehicle made contact with an oncoming 18-wheeler, veering back into its lane briefly before colliding head-on with another tractor-trailer.
This horrific collision unfolded on a stretch of road near Carrollton, which was not treacherous.
A state police report cited “unknown reasons” for Burlsworth’s car crossing the center line and colliding with the tractor-trailers.
The outcome was tragically fatal, with Brandon Burlsworth declared dead at the accident scene.
On May 2, 1999, the promising young athlete was laid to rest in Gass Cemetery in Omaha, Arkansas, leaving a legacy of perseverance and dedication far beyond the football field.
Brandon Burlsworth obituary
Brandon’s untimely passing in the tragic car accident in 1999 left an indelible mark on football and beyond.
A series of heartfelt tributes have been established in his memory to celebrate his legacy and embodied values.
The prestigious Burlsworth Trophy, initiated in 2010, annually honors college football’s most exceptional players who journeyed as a walk-on, mirroring Brandon’s inspiring path.
Houston Nutt, former head football coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks, coined the phrase “Do it the Burls Way,” signifying the commitment to doing things right, even when no one is watching.
This phrase encapsulates the ethos of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, a testament to his enduring influence.
At the University of Arkansas, Brandon’s jersey number, 77, is the second retired football jersey in the school’s history.
His locker, enshrined in a glass case within the Razorback locker room, constantly reminds him of his dedication.
In Harrison, Arkansas, the Youth Center was renamed the Brandon Burlsworth Youth Center in May 1999, reflecting his impact on the local community.
Even the Indianapolis Colts paid tribute by wearing his initials, BB, on their helmets for the entire 1999 season.
Furthermore, the Colts extended their respect by presenting $5,000 checks to each of Brandon’s family members and the University of Arkansas Athletic Director during halftime of the first Colts game following his tragic passing.
Brandon Burlsworth family and friends mourn.
Following the tragic loss of Brandon Burlsworth, his family and friends came together to create the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation as a heartfelt tribute to his unwavering work ethic and steadfast Christian values.
This Christian organization was established with a profound mission—to provide physical and spiritual support to children, especially those facing limited opportunities in life.
At the core of the foundation’s identity is the iconic image of Brandon’s black-framed glasses, symbolizing not only his distinctive appearance but also his enduring commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others.
The foundation relies on donations and selling Burlsworth-themed merchandise to fuel its mission.
Visitors to the foundation’s website can select from various offerings, from books and movies that shed light on Brandon’s inspiring journey to shirts and hats bearing his name and image.
The proceeds from these sales contribute to the foundation’s noble cause.