What is The Movie Greater About? What Really Happened To Brandon Burlsworth?

What is The Movie Greater About

“Greater” is a biopic about Brandon Burlsworth, a college football walk-on who became an All-American but died in a car crash shortly after being drafted into the NFL in 1999. The film celebrates his inspiring journey and impact on others.


“Greater” is a 2016 biographical sports film that tells the true story of Brandon Burlsworth, a young man with big dreams of playing football for the University of Arkansas. Despite facing numerous challenges, including not getting a scholarship and being initially underestimated by his peers, Brandon becomes a walk-on player and eventually earns a scholarship.

Full Name Brandon Vaughn Burlsworth
Born September 20, 1976, in Harrison, Arkansas, U.S.
Died April 28, 1999, in Alpena, Arkansas, U.S.
Age at Death 22 years
Position Offensive Guard
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 310 lb
High School Harrison High School, Class of 1994
College University of Arkansas (1994–1998)
NFL Draft 1999, Round 3, Pick 63
NFL Career Offseason and/or practice squad member with the Colts
Death April 28, 1999, in a car accident near Alpena, Arkansas
Burial Gass Cemetery in Omaha, Arkansas

The Journey of Brandon Burlsworth

he movie portrays his journey of hard work, determination, and resilience as he transforms from an overlooked player to an All-American college football star. Tragically, Brandon’s promising career is cut short when he dies in a car crash just 11 days after being drafted into the NFL.

Themes Explored in the Film

The film explores themes of faith, family, and the impact one person can have on those around them, emphasizing Brandon’s inspirational story and the enduring effect he had on his community.

What Happened To Brandon Burlsworth?

Brandon Burlsworth, the central figure in the film “Greater,” experienced a remarkable journey marked by determination and success, but it tragically ended in a car crash. Brandon started as a 12-year-old with dreams of playing football for the University of Arkansas. Overcoming challenges, including not initially receiving a scholarship, he became a walk-on player, worked hard, and eventually earned a scholarship.

A Promising Career Cut Short

His dedication and skill led to success on the field, with him achieving All-American status in his senior year of 1998. The film takes a somber turn when, just 11 days after being drafted into the NFL in the third round, Brandon’s life was cut short in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer. This unexpected tragedy left his brother Marty, portrayed in the movie, grappling with grief as he faced the loss of a beloved sibling on the brink of a promising football career.

Who Was Brandon Burlsworth?

Brandon Burlsworth was an American football player born on September 20, 1976, in Harrison, Arkansas. He became widely known for his inspiring journey from a volunteer walk-on to an All-American offensive lineman for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team. Graduating from Harrison High School in 1994, Burlsworth chose to join the University of Arkansas as a walk-on, turning down other scholarship offers.

Achievements and Legacy

Despite facing initial challenges, he transformed his physique, earned a scholarship, and played a crucial role as the starting right guard in the offensive line. Burlsworth’s dedication and achievements included being selected as a team captain, receiving first-team All-SEC honors, and making the 1998 College Football All-America Team.

Tragically, on April 28, 1999, just eleven days after being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL, Burlsworth lost his life in a car accident near Alpena, Arkansas. His legacy endures through the retirement of his jersey number, 77, and posthumous inductions into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Arkansas Letterman’s Association Hall of Honor.

Burlsworth is remembered for his resilience, hard work, and impact on the football community, with tributes recognizing him as the #1 Greatest Walk-On player of the Bowl Championship Series Era in 2013.

When Did Brandon Burlsworth Die?

Brandon Burlsworth, the former American football player, passed away on April 28, 1999, at the age of 22. Just eleven days after realizing his dream of being drafted into the National Football League in the third round by the Indianapolis Colts, Brandon tragically lost his life in a car accident near Alpena, Arkansas. The accident occurred while he was on his way back to his hometown of Harrison after a workout in Fayetteville.

Honoring Character and Work Ethic

The Brandon Burlsworth Award, established to honor the legacy of former University of Arkansas football player Brandon Burlsworth, is an annual recognition given to outstanding athletes who best embody the values of character and work ethic known as “The Burls Way.”

Recognizing Outstanding Athletes

Presented both at Harrison High School and the University of Arkansas, the award is bestowed upon one male and one female athlete each year. The recipients exemplify qualities such as dedication, perseverance, and sportsmanship, reflecting the spirit of Brandon Burlsworth, who began his football journey as a walk-on and rose to become an All-American.

In 2010, the Burlsworth Trophy was introduced, extending the recognition to the most outstanding Division I FBS college football player who started their career as a walk-on, further celebrating individuals who embody Burlsworth’s commitment and passion for the game.

What is The Movie Greater About – FAQs

  1. What is the movie “Greater” about?
    “Greater” is a 2016 biographical sports film that depicts the inspiring true story of Brandon Burlsworth. It follows his journey from a walk-on player for the University of Arkansas football team to becoming an All-American college football star, emphasizing themes of faith, resilience, and the impact one person can have.
  2. When was Brandon Burlsworth born?
    Brandon Burlsworth was born on September 20, 1976.
  3. Where did Brandon Burlsworth play college football?
    He played college football for the University of Arkansas.
  4. What position did Brandon Burlsworth play?
    Brandon Burlsworth played as an offensive guard.
  5. When did Brandon Burlsworth tragically pass away?
    Brandon Burlsworth died on April 28, 1999, at the age of 22.

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