University at Buffalo defensive end Demone Harris has been named a nominee for the 2017 Burlsworth Trophy. The award is given to the most outstanding football player in the nation who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field.
Harris, a 6-foot-4, 272-pound senior and team captain, walked on in 2013 after graduating from Bishop Timon-St. Jude. He’s currently having the best season of his career with 42 tackles, a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss and a team-high three sacks. Harris, who is one of six nominees from the Mid-American Conference, has since earned a scholarship and has totaled 94 tackles and 7.5 sacks in his career.
Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation with a FBS football program without financial aid of any kind from his university’s athletic department. The 2016 winner was quarterback Baker Mayfield from the University of Oklahoma.
WOMEN’S SOCCER: Five members of UB earned All-MAC recognition on Thursday.
Senior midfielder Julia Benati and sophomore defender Gurjeena Jandu earned first team honors, senior keeper Laura Dougall was selected to the second team, and freshmen Marcy Barberic (Grand Island) and Gianna Yurchak were picked to the All-Freshman squad.
The five selections are the most for the Bulls since 2015, when they also had five. They landed seven All-MAC selections in 2014. The senior class will graduate as the second-winningest class in program history with 41 career wins.
WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: UB improved to 15-9 overall and 8-5 in the MAC with a four-set win at Akron. Set scores were 25-21, 25-15, 19-25 and 25-20.
Andrea Mitrovic led the team with 19 kills, while Cassie Shado added 13. Setter Scout McLerran dished out 42 assists.
The Bulls host Toledo Saturday at 6 p.m.
WOMEN’S SWIMMING: UB senior Hannah Miller was named the Mid-American Conference Swimmer of the Week, joining fellow senior Megan Burns as the second swimmer to earn the weekly honor this season.
Miller won the 1,000 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle as the Bulls opened their MAC slate with a 218-82 win over Toledo last Saturday.
WRESTLING: UB lost its season-opening match, 22-14, against Cal State Bakersfield at Alumni Arena. The Bulls will compete next at the Clarion Open in Pennsylvania.