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Matt McGloin Wins Burlsworth Trophy

Penn State's quarterback named as 2012's "most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on"

Hunter Martin

Given the scholarship constraints that his team will have to work with for the next several years courtesy of the NCAA, Penn State head football coach Bill O'Brien has done his best to emphasize how "run-ons," non-scholarship players commonly referred to as "walk-ons" in normal parlance, will play an integral role in the success of his program.

This is a pretty good way to start, don't you think?

Several weeks ago, Dan Vecellio told you that senior quarterback Matt McGloin was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy. The award, named after former Arkansas Razorback All-American Brandon Burlsworth, is awarded annually by the Rotary Club of Springdale, Arkansas to the most outstanding collegiate player who began his career as a walk-on. Today, Penn State's record breaking quarterback was named the 2012 winner of that trophy.

As every Penn Stater knows, McGloin's road to the top of the depth chart was filled with challenges. He won quarterback competitions in three different seasons, under two different coaching staffs, and against three different four-star or better prospects. McGloin, whose only scholarship offer was from Lehigh despite throwing for 58 touchdowns as a prep quarterback, elected to walk-on at Penn State under former head football coach Joe Paterno. He won his starting role mid-season in both 2010 and 2011 from Rob Bolden, but struggled to maintain consistency under an antiquated offense put in place by the previous regime.

Bill O'Brien's offense, however, played into McGloin's strengths. No longer was McGloin required to run the play called in the huddle, and he was no longer expected to run an unsophisticated vertical passing attack that only served to attempt to keep defenses honest while Penn State's tailbacks did the yeoman's work. Instead, McGloin was required to read defenses, make good decisions, and be accurate in the short and intermediate passing game.

The results speak for themselves. In 2012, McGloin completed 61 percent of his passes, and set school records for completions (270), attempts (446), and passing yards (3,266). He tied Daryll Clark for the single season passing touchdown mark (24), and is in sole possession of first place for career passing touchdowns (46). He is Penn State's all-time leader in 300-yard games (6), and passed for at least 200 yards and a touchdown in every game this year.

Congratulations to Matt on winning the 2012 Burlsworth Trophy!

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