IOWA CITY, Iowa — Sixth-year University of Iowa defensive lineman Joe Evans has been selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, an award presented to the most outstanding player in America who began his career as a walk-on.
The Ames, Iowa, native joined the Hawkeyes as a walk-on in the fall of 2018 — two months later than the other players in his recruiting class. After changing positions from linebacker to defensive end, Evans played his way onto the field in 2019 as a pass rushing specialist. He finished the season with four sacks.
Evans saw action in all eight games in 2020 and all 14 contests in 2021, where he tied for the team lead with seven sacks. In 2022, he earned second-team All-Big Ten honors after finishing the season with 8.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
This season, Evans has been voted a team captain by his teammates each week of the season. He has 34 tackles and team highs in tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (4.5) for a Hawkeye defense that is one of the nation’s best. Evans, who will end his career as a five-year letterwinner, currently is tied for seventh in program history with 23 career sacks.
Joining Evans as a Burlsworth Trophy semifinalist are: B.J. Green III (DL, Arizona State), James Carpenter (G, James Madison), Austin Moore (LB, Kansas State), Cody Schrader (RB, Missouri), Drake Stoops (WR, Oklahoma), Jake Springfield (OT, Oklahoma State), Sean Atkins (WR, South Florida), Bryson Barnes (QB, Utah) and Kyle Thornton (LB, Washington State).
The selection committee will announce the top three Burlsworth Trophy finalists on Nov. 14. Finalists will be honored and the winner will be announced on Dec. 4, in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The Hawkeyes (7-2, 4-2) host Rutgers at 2:40 p.m. (CT) on Saturday on Duke Slater Field at Kinnick Stadium. The game will be televised live on Big Ten Network.