(UW Athletics release)
LARAMIE, Wyo. — Marcus Epps, Wyoming’s senior free safety and team captain, has been named one of the three national finalists for the 2018 Burlsworth Trophy. The Burlsworth Trophy committee announced on Tuesday. The trophy is awarded to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on. Joining Epps as finalists are: University of California Running Back Patrick Laird and Clemson University Wide Receiver Hunter Renfrow.
The three finalists will be honored and the winner of the 2018 Burlsworth Trophy will be announced at a ceremony on Monday, December 3 at 12:45 p.m. in Springdale, Ark. hosted by the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation in conjunction with the Springdale Rotary Club.
Epps came to Wyoming in 2014 as a walk-on from Los Angeles, Calif. He redshirted his freshman season. In 2015, Epps earned a starting spot at safety and was rewarded with a scholarship. Since that time, he has started 47 consecutive games at safety for the Cowboys.
Epps is the only player in 122 seasons of Wyoming Football to be elected a team captain in three different seasons.
He has been credited with 313 career tackles, and is only 21 tackles away from the Wyoming career Top 10. Among all active FBS players, Epps is tied for No. 9 in career interceptions, with nine, and is ranked No. 21 with career solo tackles, averaging 4.33 per game.
The senior has helped lead Wyoming to consecutive bowl appearances in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl and the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Epps is also a father. He and his girlfriend, Megan, are parents of nearly two-year old son Braxton.
The trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth. Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon walked on to the Arkansas Razorback football team in 1994, worked his way to being a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts 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 who have limited opportunities.