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Appalachian State linebacker Noel Cook brings down North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell in the Mountaineers 34-31 win over the Tar Heels on Sept. 21 in Chapel Hill.

BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State senior linebacker Noel Cook is one of 83 nominees nationally for the Burlsworth Trophy, which goes to the outstanding FBS player who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field.

Cook, who enrolled early at App State as an invited walk-on, ranks third on the Mountaineers this season with 52 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He led the team with eight tackles against ULM on Oct. 19 and shared the team lead with seven stops at South Alabama a week later.

Cook has started 20 straight games at outside linebacker, and his career totals through 39 games are 136 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and one interception.

In the award's 10th year, the Burlsworth Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, a former Arkansas walk-on and All-America offensive lineman whose life is the subject of the movie "Greater." Without a single Division I scholarship offer, Burlsworth became a three-year starter at Arkansas and was eventually named an All-American in 1998.

He was selected with the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities.

The Brandon Burlsworth Foundation, in conjunction with the Springdale Rotary Club, will host an awards ceremony on Dec. 9 in Arizona to honor the three finalists and announce the 2019 winner.

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Contact Jim Sands at 336-314-1058 or on Twitter @jimsandsRCN.  

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