Matt McGloin never liked the term "walk-on" because it reminded him that no coach from an FBS program felt he was talented enough to deserve a scholarship.
But after walking on at Penn State, McGloin embarked on an interesting five-year journey that earned him a scholarship, respect, a starting job and finally, a career season in 2012 that was capped Monday when he was named winner of the Burlsworth Trophy.
The trophy is presented to the nation's outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on. McGloin, of Scranton, won over fellow finalists Jordan Kovacs, a safety from Michigan, and David Quessenberry, a tackle from San Jose State.
McGloin was honored Monday at a dinner in Springdale, Ark. The award is named after former Arkansas all-American Brandon Burlsworth, a former walk-on who died in an automobile accident 11 days after the Indianapolis Colts chose him in the 1999 NFL draft.
"Today took me back to the beginning of my career," McGloin said in a statement. "I looked back at what I have gone through and the journey I have taken at Penn State, and to be recognized for my accomplishments and the way I got to Penn State is a true blessing."
McGloin broke nine Penn State records and tied another in 2012, when he passed for 3,266 yards and 24 touchdowns. An honorable mention all-Big Ten selection, he led the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record.
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and center Matt Stankiewitch were named postseason award finalists.
O'Brien, named Big Ten coach of the year by coaches and media, was selected as one of nine finalists for the Eddie Robinson coach of the year award presented by the Football Writers Association of America. The winner will be announced Dec. 13.