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Case Hatch Nominated for Burlsworth Trophy

Nov 2, 2021

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Sun Devil Football fullback/h-back Case Hatch is a nominee for the 2021 Burlsworth Trophy, the Burlsworth Trophy committee announced Tuesday.

The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a Walk-On and has shown outstanding performance on the field. Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation with a FBS (D1) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university's athletic department.

Hatch is one of 88 players nominated from Division 1 (FBS) schools from across the country for the 2021 Burlsworth Trophy. In the award's twelfth year, the Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas Walk-On and All-American offensive lineman. The Burlsworth Trophy award ceremony to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2021 winner will on December 6th at 7:00pm CST at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

"What a privilege it is to recognize these young men each year, those that chose to take on the challenge of beginning their college career as a Walk-On," said Marty Burlsworth, President and CEO of the Burlsworth Trophy and older brother of Brandon. "We are excited to celebrate the achievements of these 88 players nominated for the 2021 Burlsworth Trophy. These extraordinary young men have put in the work and have earned this honor."

A walk-on that joined the team prior to the 2019 season, Hatch earned a scholarship in December of 2019 prior to the Sun Devils' victory over Florida State in the Sun Bowl. He originally began his career at linebacker for the Sun Devils, but made the switch to a do-it-all full back/h-back role midway throughout his first season. During that campaign, Hatch played in all 13 games, serving in a variety of roles. He was a key member of several special teams' units in addition to seeing action as a reserve linebacker and eventually in a fullback role.

During the 2019 season, Hatch collected 12 tackles, 10 of the solo variety. He made an impact when he forced a fumble on a special teams' tackle in a home matchup with Colorado. Midway through the season, he emerged as a viable option out of the backfield for the Sun Devils. Despite little experience in the role, Hatch had immediate success on offense, showing toughness and power as a blocker in the run game. This helped him earn the respect of his teammates, who were delighted when he made a key 26-yard reception in the Sun Bowl victory over Florida State.

This led to him being voted a team captain in only his second year in Tempe. He played in all four games in 2020, with his responsibilities as a fullback continuing to expand. He made three tackles on special teams and joined in on the fun in the 70-7 victory over Arizona, hauling in two passes for 29 yards. 

Hatch was voted a captain once again in 2021, making him a two-time captain. So far this season, Hatch has garnered national attention for his blocking ability, serving as a lead blocker for several touchdown runs. He has seen his snap count continue to increase in his third season, contributing with one catch for nine yards against Colorado. He also has made two tackles on special teams, although his impact can't be measured by statistics. As one of the leaders of the team, he sets an example in the weight room and film room, which has been translating to the playing field.

Current Sun Devil placekicker Cristian Zendejas, as well as former long snapper Mitchell Frabroni and defensive back Jordan Simone are former a few of the notable past Burlworth Trophy Nominees.

Catch Case Hatch and the rest of the Sun Devils return to action on Saturday, Nov. 6th at 7:30 pm when they host USC on ESPN. Dave Fleming, Rod Gilmore, and Stormy Buonantony are on the call. You can also listen to the game on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

Full list of 2021 Burlsworth Trophy Nominees:

School Grade Player Position
Arizona State JR Case Hatch FB/TE
Appalachian State SR Caleb Spurlin DE/HB
Arizona JR Stanley Berryhill III WR
Arkansas SR Grant Morgan LB
Arkansas State JR Blake Grupe K
Auburn SR Barton Lester LB
Ball State SR Cody Rudy FB
Bowling Green SR Nate Needham PK
Buffalo SR Jack Klenk OL
California SR Jake Tonges TE
Central Florida SR Anthony Montalvo DT/DE
Central Michigan SR Troy Hairston DE
Charlotte SR Chris Reynolds QB
Cincinnati SR Ryan Royer LB
Coastal Carolina SR CJ Schrimpf LS
Colorado JR Brady Russell TE
Colorado State SR Thomas Pannunzio DB
Duke SR Jackson Hubbard H
East Carolina Soph Tyler Snead WR
Eastern Michigan JR Hassan Beydoun WR
Florida JR Marco Ortiz LS
Florida Atlantic RSF Nicholas Marino LS
Florida State RSF Treshaun Ward RB
Fresno State JR Erik Brooks WR
Georgia SR Stetson Bennett QB
Georgia State SR Tucker Gregg RB
Georgia Tech SR Djimon Brooks DL
Hawaii JR Eliki Tanuvasa OL
Illinois SR Donny Navarro III WR
Indiana JR Davion Ervin-Poindexter RB
Iowa SR Jack Koerner S
Iowa State SR Derek Schweiger OL
Kansas State SR Landry Weber WR
Kentucky SR Matthew Ruffolo PK
Liberty SR Thomas Sargeant OL
Louisiana JR Shane Vallot C
Louisiana Tech SR Ezekiel Barnett LB
Marshall SR Nazeeh Johnson S
Maryland SR Greg Rose DL
Memphis SR Calvin Austin III WR
Michigan SR Andrew Vastardis C
Middle Tennessee State JR Chase Cunningham QB
Minnesota SR Jordan Howden DB
Mississippi SR Mark Robinson LB
Mississippi State JR Christian Ford WR
Missouri SR Barrett Banister WR
Nebraska Soph Luke Reimer LB
Nevada SR Sam Hammond DE
New Mexico RSF Cody Moon LB
North Carolina State SR Thayer Thomas WR
Northern Illinois SR Matt Ference P
Northwestern SR Chris Bergin LB
Ohio State SR Mitch Rossi TE
Oklahoma JR Drake Stoops WR
Old Dominion Soph Leroy Thomas RG
Oregon JR Ryan Walk RG/C
Oregon State JR Jaydon Grant DB
Penn State SR Chris Stoll LS
Rice JR Campbell Riddle LS
Rutgers SR Billy Taylor LS
San Diego State SR Segun Olubi LB
San Jose State SR Trevor Robbins OL
SMU QB Derek Green QB
South Carolina SR Jaylan Foster S
Stanford SR Brycen Tremayne WR
Syracuse SR Andre Szymt PK
Tennessee Soph Dayne Davis OL
Texas JR Luke Brockermeyer LB
Texas A & M JR Connor Choate DS
Texas State JR Chandler Speights WR
Toledo Soph Devin Maddox WR/PR
Troy SR Carlton Martial LB
Tulane SR Merek Glover K
Tulsa SR Zack Long (Zachary) PK
UAB SR Hayden Pittman TE
UCLA JR Greg Dulcich TE
UNLV SR Daniel Gutierrez PK
Utah Fresh Karene Reid LB
Utah State SR Nick Heninger DE
UTSA SR Hunter Duplessis PK
Virginia JR Brendan Farrell PK
Wake Forest Fresh Nick Andersen DB
Washington SR Race Porter P
Washington State SR Armani Marsh N
West Virginia JR Casey Legg K
Western Kentucky JR Joey Beljan TE
Wisconsin SR Matt Henningsen DE
Wyoming SR Garrett Crall DE