Third time’s the charm: WSU QB Luke Falk wins the Burlsworth Trophy

Luke Falk finished behind Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield in Burlsworth Trophy voting in each of the last two years. But on Monday, Falk won the award for the first time.

In his third year as a finalist, Washington State’s Luke Falk finally won the the Burlsworth Trophy that goes to the most acclaimed former walk-on in the country annually.

Falk, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound senior from Logan, Utah, was in Arkansas on Monday to accept the Burlsworth Trophy in person. It marked his third trip to Springdale, Ark., but the first time he’ll be coming home with the ultimate honor for a former walk-on. In each of the last two years, the award went to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was also a finalist this year.

The Burlsworth Trophy is presented by the Springdale Rotary Club and named for former Arkansas offensive lineman Brandon Burlsworth, who walked on to the Razorbacks’ football team as a freshman, and finished as an All-American in his fifth year, and was the Indianapolis Colts’ third round draft pick in 1999.

Like Burlsworth at Arkansas before him, Falk joined WSU as an invited walk-on in 2013. Five years later, he’ll leave as the Pac-12’s all-time career-leading leader with 14,481 passing yards and 119 touchdown passes. His passing yardage is good for seventh all-time in NCAA history, and he needs just 187 more yards to pass former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore (14,667) for sixth.

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Falk finished the regular season as the Pac-12 Conference leader, with 30 touchdown passes. He’s sixth nationally with 3,593 passing yards and has led the Cougars to a 9-3 record, a No. 18 College Football Playoff ranking, and a No. 21 national ranking in the Associated Press top 25 poll. Falk earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors twice this season and led WSU to notable wins over USC, Oregon and Stanford.

With one game remaining in his college career — the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 against Michigan State — Falk is already the winningest quarterback in WSU history. He owns a program-record 27 wins, and holds WSU’s career records for completion percentage (.683), passing yards (14,481) and touchdowns (119) as well as multiple single season records.

In his acceptance speech Monday, Falk thanked WSU special teams coach Eric Mele for giving him an opportunity and supporting him over the years. Mele, who attended the awards banquet with Falk, was the coach who discovered Falk and…

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