One of the greatest running backs in football history believes that he can still play in the NFL at the age of 53.
In a recent interview on “Boomer & Carton,” Georgia great Herschel Walker confidently told listeners that he could strap on pads and contribute to an NFL team right now.
When asked by Craig Carton if he felt that he could still be a positive presence on the field, Walker responded: “There is not a doubt in my mind, if I played today, I [could] contribute to a team.”
The former UGA great amassed 5,502 yards and 53 touchdowns during his college career, and holds the team’s single-season rushing record of 1,891 yards. Walker earned the Heisman Trophy Award following the 1982 season, and remains the all-time leading rusher for the Bulldogs.
Despite not having played in the NFL since 1997, Walker claims that he can still run a blistering 4.3 40-yard dash.
“The last time a ran a 40, I ran a 4.3,” Walker told the show. “That was like a year ago. That was when I had not been doing any track work, all I had been doing was fighting.”
Since his playing days, Walker has found a new passion: mixed martial arts.
According to the former running back, who says he weighs 225 pounds, fighting is one of the reasons holding him back.
“I thought about it, but I’m still fighting,” Walker said. “I’ve gotta get out of fighting first. Once I get out of the MMA stuff, then I may go back and play. I want to be the George Foreman of football.”
While Walker displayed optimism about a possible return to the game of football, in another interview on ESPN’s “Highly Questionable” he talked about living with dissociative identity disorder.
“I was picked on when I was a little kid, I was bullied a little bit,” Walker said when asked of his situation. “I used a coping mechanism by being this incredible athlete, but I never dealt with the hardship that I had as a little kid.”
Football was Walker’s escape, but he talked about checking himself into a hospital after his playing days to learn how to live with D.I.D.
At one point during the interview, Walker discusses moments in which he played Russian Roulette.
“If you came to my home, and you wanted to challenge me at anything, I didn’t think you were worthy enough,” Walker said. “I would take a bullet, put it in a cylinder, spin it, tell you to pull it. People said ‘Herschel, you’re nuts.’ They’d walk away, I’d take that gun, put it to my head and snap it.”
At the time Herschel says he believed he could “overcome anything.”
Looking back, he says that his behavior stemmed from something else.
“I didn’t realize that it was from all that anger that I had, that I didn’t like myself.” Herschel added, “I was not even happy with who I was.”
This was not the first time that Walker has opened up to talk about his history or how the game affects its players.
The UGA legend still believes that he has the physical tools to become the oldest player to play in the NFL, and it appears that he has come to grips with himself as a person. Walker has always been considered a physical specimen, and there are those who would agree that he can still play.
Not many teams are looking for 53-year-old running backs, but Walker is ready to persuade them.
“I still run very well, like I’ve always [run],” he said. “I know I can be a positive thing.”