FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said punter Toby Baker has been nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is presented each year to the best player in the country who started his career as a walk-on.
Baker leads the SEC and ranks fourth in the country with an average of 49.4 yards per punt. Seven of his 10 punts this season have gone for 50 or more yards.
The 6-3 senior from Memphis University School has attracted the attention of scouts who have attended Arkansas practices.
“They’re drooling over him,” Bielema said on his radio show, On the Air with Bret Bielema, on Thursday.
Bielema said he had been in contact with the Senior Bowl and other postseason all-star games to promote Baker.
The Burlsworth Trophy is named for former Arkansas All-American Brandon Burlsworth, who began his career with the Razorbacks as an overweight walk-on before developing into a third-round NFL Draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts. Burlsworth died in an automobile accident on his way home to Harrison 11 days after being drafted.
His story was made into the motion picture Greater, which is still in theaters.