BYU wide receiver Dax Milne was honored as one of the top three former college football walk-ons as a finalist for the 2020 Burlsworth Trophy.
Although Milne didn’t end up winning the award — it went to Pittsburgh senior center Jimmy Morrissey in a virtual ceremony on Monday — he said he appreciated that there was recognition for those who have taken the walk-on route in their careers.
“Being a finalist is a huge honor,” Milne said in a teleconference Monday. “It means the world to each of us because of the legacy Brandon (Burlsworth) left and what it means to be in this position. It’s humbling. It makes me want to continue to work harder and pursue more future goals.”
He said he feels strongly about what walk-ons can accomplish, both because of his own journey and in the journey of his father, Darren Milne.
“It’s special to me to have my name with the past winners and the finalists,” Dax Milne said. “It makes it special, knowing how good a players those guys are. My dad played baseball at BYU as well and he was a walk-on. He ended up getting put on scholarship and leaving for the MLB draft his junior year as well. It means a lot to me that way because he inspired me and I followed his footsteps that way. It’s really special to me.”
He felt like he learned some valuable lessons as he went from high school player to walk-on to starter and now to preparing to head to the NFL.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my whole experience of going from being an under-recruited player to walk-on to scholarship player has been to remain consistent,” Dax Milne said. “It’s easy to think you’ve arrived because you are getting playing time or you earned a scholarship. I think what needs to happen is you need to keep doing what got you to that point. That’s my plan as I head into the NFL world. It’s about remaining consistent in my work ethic and my attitude.”
Dax Milne is currently No. 4 in the nation in receiving with 1,188 yards. He finished with 70 receptions, an average of 17 yards per reception and eight touchdowns.
In his career he tallied 101 catches for 1,542 yards with 11 touchdowns, while adding 92 yards in kickoff and punt returns.
Now in its 11th year, the Burlsworth Trophy is named in honor of Brandon Burlsworth, former University of Arkansas walk-on and All-American offensive lineman.
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the most outstanding football player in American who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field.