Senior tight end Michael Nysewander is one of 55 players nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, the Springdale (Ark.) Rotary Club announced Tuesday. The Burlsworth Trophy is annually presented to the nation’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.

Nysewander has filled a role on offense as a blocker at fullback and tight end, while opening holes for one of the SEC’s top rushing attacks. The walk-on has also become one of the Crimson Tide’s top defenders on kickoff coverage, tying for the team lead with five stops. He earned special teams player of the week honors from the Alabama coaching staff for his efforts against Middle Tennessee.

A walk-on is defined as a player who began his first season of participation with a D1 (FBS) football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department. The Burlsworth Trophy honors outstanding players that represent character, hard work, dedication to the sport and their school, and a unique desire to excel at the highest level.

Nysewander and the rest of the Crimson Tide will travel to Starkville this Saturday for an SEC road matchup with the No. 20 Mississippi State Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on CBS.