LEXINGTON, Ky. ? Sean Murphy, a senior wide receiver on the 2007 University of Kentucky football team, has been chosen as the winner of the 14th-annual Trent DiGiuro Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship fund was established by family and friends of former UK offensive guard Trent DiGiuro, who died on July 17, 1994. Trent’s parents, Mike and Ann DiGiuro, officially established the fund on Oct. 24, 1994.

The fund provides one or more scholarships each year to students who:

  1. are walk-on (non-scholarship) football players at UK;
  2. have played on the football team at least two years;
  3. have maintained a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.5; and
  4. best exemplify the dedication, determination, hard work, and leadership typified by Trent DiGiuro.

If no walk-on player meets the above criteria, the scholarship is awarded to a team manager or athletic trainer who has completed two years of service, maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, and has exemplified the dedication, determination, hard work, and leadership typified by Trent DiGiuro.

Murphy is an excellent example of the spirit DiGiuro displayed. He was part of the Kentucky football team from 2003-07. He saw no game action his first three seasons, but was a valuable member of the practice squad and earned the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Scout Team Player Award in 2004.

After three years of patient perseverance, Murphy’s dedication began paying off in 2006. He played every game as a junior and senior, helping the Wildcats win back-to-back championships of the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl. He saw most of his playing time on special teams, most notably as a middle jumper on the kick block unit. He blocked an extra point at Florida during his junior season and also caught three passes during his Wildcat career.

In the classroom, Murphy has a major in forestry and was a member of the 2007 Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll. As part of his schoolwork, he is currently taking part in a research project in Central Florida. He is responsible for catching bears, tranquilizing the animals and placing GPS collars on them. Then, once a week he flies over the Central Florida area and tracks the bears’ movements. He is scheduled to complete his degree in May of 2009.

“I thank the DiGiuro family and their friends for the scholarship,” Murphy said. “It’s definitely an honor to be given this. It’s really good for walk-ons who are still working on getting their degree and can use the financial help.”

Murphy has a strong Kentucky heritage. His father, Patrick, was a walk-on Wildcat in the 1970s and Sean’s brother, Brian, currently is a redshirt freshman linebacker on the UK football team.

Trent DiGiuro was from Goshen, Ky., and earned all-district honors at South Oldham High School. He came to UK as a walk-on offensive lineman in 1991. Through hard work and perseverance, he began earning playing time in 1993 as the Wildcats advanced to the Peach Bowl. In the off-season, he posted the best bench press on the team and he finished 1994 spring practice as the starting right guard. Trent also made steady progress in his academic work and earned a place on the 1993 Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll.

The first DiGiuro Scholarship was given in 1995 to placekicker Brent Claiborne. Subsequent scholarships have been awarded to manager Andrew Cline (1996), athletic trainer Patrick Sininger (1997), linebacker Stephan Walters (1998), tight end Cheddi Acham (1999), wide receiver Alex Herman (2000), wide receiver Corry Doyle (2001), athletic trainer Matthew Summers (2002), manager Samantha Bell (2003), kicker Justin Hutton (2004), athletic trainer Christopher Brydwell (2005), quarterback David Hamilton (2006), quarterback Rocco Maragas (2007) and wide receiver Sean Murphy (2008).

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