ATHENS — Herschel Walker, a former Georgia player celebrated as perhaps the greatest in college football history, spoke on behalf of President Donald Trump at the GOP convention on Monday night.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2020
Walker, a three-time All-American and the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, began his professional playing career with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, a franchise owned by Trump.
Walker, who rushed for a pro football record of 2,411 yards in 1985, spoke of his friendship with Trump and of his observations over the years of the United States of America President over the years.
“Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our national anthem and our country doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice,” Walker said. “I love all those things, so does Donald Trump.”
Walker told AJC.com earlier this year that he remains close with Trump and has a position with the President’s Council, and with Health and Human Services.
Georgia’s current football team has dealt with more political issues than any team before it, with social media granting many a voice.
The UGA players have spoken about how the team remains grounded through a leadership council.
Coach Tom Crean encourages his basketball players at Georgia to share their opinions, as well.
There have been political overtones to the current plight of the college football season. The Pac-12 and Big Ten shut down their seasons, while the SEC, ACC and Big 12 continue work to provide their student-athletes an opportunity amid a safe environment.
No politics involved in the Big 10 decision at all …
Nothing to see here…
Move along …
— paul eskine (@paul_eskine) August 25, 2020
Sports had far more innocence during Walker’s era as a player.
Walker graduated valedictorian at Johnson County High School in Wrightsville, Ga., before playing for the Bulldogs from 1980-1982.
Georgia went 33-3 Walker’s three seasons as he set 41 school records, 16 SEC record and 11 NCAA records, leading the team to the 1980 national championship.
Walker played through a shoulder injury in the championship game against Notre Dame as a true freshman. He carried 36 times for 150 yards after suffering the injury in the first quarter.
“I remember the pain, but you know that was my very first big game,” Walker told DawgNation in the exclusive interview.
“I tell people all the time, it’s more than just a game sometimes to some people, and this has always been more than a game to me.”
Sporting News selected Walker as the greatest college football player of all time during the game’s 150-year celebration. ESPN ranked Walker No. 2 of all-time behind Jim Brown.
Walker told DawgNation in New Orleans the day after the rankings were announced that he appreciated the honors, but they do not define success.
“I think success is when you can lay your head on your pillow at night and sleep, sleep in peace,” Walker said. “I think you’ve got to remember that success is what you feel, not what someone else does.”
Walker, who ran a 10.2-second 100 meters during his days as a track star, continues to support the University of Georgia and is a fan of Coach Kirby Smart and the players.
Especially the running backs.
“One thing I like about Georgia running backs is they’re players that they play — their players they go out and play,” he said. “You know having a coach like Coach Smart, he’s going out and getting those big offensive linemen.
“I think the guys are gonna be happy, and all they gotta do is run like I did, that’s what’s gonna make it happen.”