Herschel Walker made an indelible mark on University of Georgia (UGA) football history. He was a record-setting running back from 1980 to 1982. He led UGA to a national championship in 1980 and won the Heisman Trophy in 1982. Many observers of the game consider Walker to be one of the best players in college history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Herschel Junior Walker was born in Wrightsville on March 3, 1962, to Christine and Willis Walker. In 1980 UGA football coach Vince Dooley signed Walker to a scholarship. As a freshman at UGA, Walker led the team to an undefeated regular season and a Sugar Bowl victory over the University of Notre Dame to win the national championship. He drew consensus all-American honors and was third in the Heisman Trophy voting that season, setting records with 1,616 total yards, a rushing average of 146.9 yards, and fifteen touchdowns.
In 1986, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys and moved to the fullback position.
He share backfield duties with Tony Dorsett. He became the second Heisman backfield tandem in NFL history. In 1989, at the height of his NFL career, the Cowboys traded Walker to the Minnesota Vikings. After three seasons in Minnesota, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Walker in 1992. That year, he enjoyed his best season as a pro since 1988, rushing for 1,070 yards. In 1994 he became the first NFL player to have one-play gains of 90 or more yards rushing, receiving and kick-returning in a single season. He spent three seasons in Philadelphia.
Walker owns and runs a company, Renaissance Man International, which is based in Savannah. He is most involved with a branch of the company called Herschel’s Famous 34, which sells prepared chicken and appetizers to restaurants. Herschel’s Famous 34 gives a portion of all profits to charitable organizations. In addition to other charitable work, he regularly gives motivational speeches at banquets and schools all over the country.