Herschel Walker made an indelible mark on University of Georgia (UGA) football history as 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.
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. A portion of all profits from Herschel’s Famous 34 are given to charitable organizations. In addition to other charitable work, he regularly gives motivational speeches at banquets and schools all over the country.
Photo Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services.