Penn State vs Purdue, Lamont Wade (38) pass breakup

Penn State safety Lamont Wade (38) breaks up a pass while linebacker Jan Johnson (36) and cornerback John Reid (29) try to recover what they thought was a fumble during the football game against Purdue at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. The no. 12 Nittany Lions lead the Boilermakers 28-7 at halftime.

Jan Johnson has been nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, an award given to the most outstanding player in the country who began their career as a walk-on.

Johnson has been an anchor at the linebacker position the past two seasons for Penn State, starting every game.

Johnson has 33 tackles this season, including one sack. He has also forced and recovered a fumble. 

This season, against Buffalo, Johnson posted a career high 14 tackles.

In 2019, Johnson was voted one of the team captains. 

The Burlsworth Trophy is named after Brandon Burlsworth and has been given out annually since 2010.

Burlsworth was a walk-on football player at Arkansas and ended up being an All-American his senior year and drafted No. 63 overall in the NFL Draft.

Days after the NFL Draft, he was killed in an auto accident.

The trophy is presented by the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation in December. 

The 2018 award was won by Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow.

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