FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas fifth-year senior and initially walk-on linebacker Grant Morgan of Greenwood has been nominated for the Burlsworth Award, named for Brandon Burlsworth of Harrison, the late Razorbacks 1998 All-American offensive guard who started his UA career as a 1994 walk-on.
And Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom has been nominated for the Frank Broyles Award annually voted to the nation’s outstanding assistant coach.
Morgan, earning his scholarship after redshirting in 2016 and then lettering as a 2017 reserve for former Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema’s Razorbacks then lettering 2018 and 2019 for Chad Morris’ Razorbacks as the backup to now NFL linebacker Scoota Harris, has blossomed as a 2020 starter for Coach Sam Pittman’s Razorbacks.
Morgan leads the nation with 111 tackles and averages 12.3 tackles per game and in four games recorded 15 or more tackles, twice peaking with 19 tackles in a game, leads the Razorbacks in tackles for losses, 7.5, and has broken up five passes and intercepted one, returning it for a touchdown. Morgan is among the finalists considered for the Butkus Award, voted postseason to the nation’s outstanding linebacker.
The 3-6 Razorbacks sorely missed Morgan, sidelined with a knee injury from the third quarter on during last Saturday’s game at Missouri.
Minus Morgan, Mizzou’s Tigers scored 27 fourth-quarter points including a last-play, game-winning field goal to edge Arkansas, 50-48 in Columbia, Mo.
Morgan’s availability is in doubt for Arkansas’ regular-season ending game against the 9-0 nationally No. 1 SEC West Alabama Crimson Tide kicking off at 11 a.m Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium and televised by ESPN.
Named for the late Frank Broyles, in both the Coaches and Athletic Directors Halls of Fame as Arkansas’ head football coach from 1958-76 and athletic director from 1973-2007, and is annually presented postseason in Little Rock.
Odom, in his first year as defensive coordinator under Razorbacks first-year Coach Sam Pittman after head coaching Missouri from 2016-2019 merits his Broyles Award consideration upon inheriting a defense from 0-8, 0-8 in the SEC teams in 2018 and 2019 and helping the Razorbacks improve to 3-6 with defense the hallmark in 21-14, 33-21 and 24-13 victories over Tennessee in Arkansas’ entirely SEC 2020 schedule.
Four Razorbacks, linebackers Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool, safeties Jalen Catalon and Joe Foucha have been named SEC Defensive Player of the Week this 2020 season.