Payton Wilgar BYU Linebacker
Payton Wilgar Junior Linebacker and former walk-on have been named to the Burlsworth Trophy Semifinalist. Wilgar is one of the 10 semifinalists. Wilgar so far this season has played in seven games and has 30 tackles and one pass breakup. Named a captain when this season started and also is respected among his teammates and coaches. Payton Wilgar is married and has one kid who was born before the season started.
Payton Wilgar has played for the Cougars since 2018 when he walked on that season. He has overcome so much in his life with his personal, and school life. As his parents are both recovering addicts when he was growing up he found a way to still play ball and fight through it. He met his wife Krissy in junior high and they have been together ever since. They have his older brother’s kids and now one of their own.
Before BYU he played for Dixie High School in St. George Utah. In his first season, he played in three games and saw the field as a Cougar for the first time. In his second year in 2019, he played in 11 of the 12 games. He was named to Pro Football Focus All-Freshman Team. Led the team in interceptions, and had a season-high of tackles with 10 against Washington.
In 2020 he played in every game and showed amazing leadership on and off the field during a really difficult season with Covid. He was named all-second-team independent. He had 53 tackles which was 3rd among the Cougars, five tackles for loss, and a forced fumble with getting to the quarterback countless times. Last season despite injury and not playing the whole year Wilgar was still a leader on defense. He played in 10 games starting in all of them finished third on the team in tackles with 56 of them, and had 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. That year he was named to many award lists and he proved that in just 10 games.
Wilgar has built himself a profile for not just the award committees but for the NFL Scouts as well. According to Mel Kiper before the season started if Wilgar worked harder and made more impressive plays he could move into draftable range. With what he has done so far this season and what he could do next year I see him going somewhere whether he is drafted or not.
The Burlsworth Trophy is awarded to the best walk-on in college football that year. In honor of Brandon Burlsworth who played for Arkansas from 1994-1998 and started his collegiate career as a walk-on. In 2010 after in his honor this award was created and is given every year. The top 3 finalists will be announced on the 15th of November and then the award will be given on December 5th.
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