Sam Hammond
Sam Hammond
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Nevada senior defensive lineman Sam Hammond has been named a nominee for the 2020 Burlsworth Trophy, which is presented annually to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field.

Hammond is one of 67 student-athletes nominated from Division I FBS schools from across the country and is one of nine from the Mountain West.

In the award’s 11th year, the trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman. 

Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation with an FBS football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department.

Hammond, a finance major who earned Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and MW All-Academic team honors last year, is in his final year of eligibility with the Wolf Pack. 

The Yerington, Nev. native, who was voted as a team captain prior to the start of the 2020 season, was also named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy earlier this season.

He began his career as a walk-on before earning a scholarship following spring practices in May of 2018.

With a few games remaining in his collegiate career, Hammond has totaled 80 tackles in his 45 games, including 6.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. 

He has recovered three fumbles in his career, had two pass breakups and blocked a punt in the 2018 season opener. 

His breakout season came in 2019 when he posted 35 tackles on the year and finished with 1.5 sacks. 

He earned MW Defensive Player of the Week honors after helping Nevada defeat No. 24 San Diego State with a career-high nine tackles, including one sack.

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