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Herschel Walker

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Title: Herschel Walker  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Charles White (American football), O. J. Simpson, Archie Griffin, Bo Jackson, United States Football League
Collection: 1962 Births, African-American Christians, African-American Mixed Martial Artists, African-American Players of American Football, All-American College Football Players, American Bobsledders, American Football Return Specialists, American Football Running Backs, American Mixed Martial Artists, American Taekwondo Practitioners, Bobsledders at the 1992 Winter Olympics, College Football Hall of Fame Inductees, Dallas Cowboys Players, Georgia Bulldogs Football Players, Georgia Bulldogs Track and Field Athletes, Heavyweight Mixed Martial Artists, Heisman Trophy Winners, Living People, Maxwell Award Winners, Minnesota Vikings Players, National Conference Pro Bowl Players, New Jersey Generals Players, New York Giants Players, Olympic Bobsledders of the United States, Parade High School All-Americans (Football), Participants in American Reality Television Series, People Diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, People from Johnson County, Georgia, Philadelphia Eagles Players, Players of American Football from Georgia (U.S. State), The Apprentice (U.S. Tv Series) Contestants
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker
No. 34
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-03-03) March 3, 1962
Place of birth: Wrightsville, Georgia
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Wrightsville (GA) Johnson Co.
College: Georgia
NFL draft: 1985 / Round: 5 / Pick: 114
Career history
Career highlights and awards



Career NFL statistics
Games played: 187
Games started: 138
Rushing yards: 8,225
Rushing TDs: 61
Receiving yards: 5,859
Receiving TDs: 21
Stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Herschel Walker (born March 3, 1962) is a retired professional All-American honors three times and won the 1982 Heisman Trophy. Walker began his professional football career with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League (USFL), before joining the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). In the NFL, he also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.


  • Early years 1
  • High school career 2
    • Track and field 2.1
  • College career 3
    • Recap 3.1
    • 1980 3.2
    • 1981 3.3
    • 1982 3.4
    • Statistics 3.5
  • Professional career 4
    • United States Football League 4.1
      • Statistics 4.1.1
    • National Football League 4.2
      • Dallas Cowboys (first stint) 4.2.1
      • Minnesota Vikings 4.2.2
      • Philadelphia Eagles 4.2.3
      • New York Giants 4.2.4
      • Dallas Cowboys (second stint) 4.2.5
    • Statistics 4.3
  • Legacy 5
  • Personal 6
    • Training and diet 6.1
  • Dissociative identity disorder 7
  • Mixed martial arts career 8
  • Mixed martial arts record 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early years

Walker was born in blue collar family.[1] Walker said that as a child he was overweight and had a speech impediment.[2] Walker's mother taught him not to use these problems as excuses in life.[3]

High school career

Walker attended Johnson County High School in Wrightsville, where he played football, basketball and competed in track. He played for the Johnson County Trojans high school football team from 1976 to 1979. In his senior year, he rushed for 3,167 yards, helping the Trojans to win their first state championship.[4] He was awarded the first Dial Award as 1979 national high school scholar-athlete of the year.

Track and field

Also a standout athlete, Walker competed on the Trojans track & field team in events ranging from the 100-yard dash to the shot put.[5] He won the shot put (16.56 m), 100-yard dash (9.5 s), and 220-yard dash (21.5 s) events at the GHSA Class A State T&F Championships. He also anchored the 4x400 team to victory, with a time of 3:24.01 minutes.[6]

Walker also competed as a sprinter at All-American selection. He was a member of the SEC champion 4x100m relay squad in 1981.[7] He ran the 100 meters in a PR 10.10 seconds in 1982 and improved his high school 100-yard dash time of 9.5 to 9.3 seconds. He also competed in the 55-meter dash in 1983, recording a then-world record time of 6.11 seconds.[8]

He also competed in the 1992 Winter Olympics in two-man bobsled, paired with Brian Shimer, where they finished seventh with a time of 4:03.95 minutes.[9]

College career

After graduating high school as All-American (football and track) and winner of the 1982 Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award. He is the only player in NCAA history to finish in the top three in Heisman voting in all three of his collegiate seasons. He is the only NCAA player who played only three years to finish in the top ten in rushing yards. During his freshman season in 1980, Walker set the NCAA freshman rushing record and finished third in Heisman voting. Walker was the first "true freshman" to become a first-team All-American.[10]

He played a major role in helping de facto national championship with a victory over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.[11] He won the Heisman as a junior.[12] In 1999, Walker was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and is considered one of college football's greatest players.[13]



Herschel Walker, the most sought after high school football player in the nation at the time, signed a national letter of intent to play for the University of Georgia Bulldogs on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1980.[14] Mike Cavan, Walker's recruiter, had helped provide head coach Vince Dooley with his prized recruit.[15]

The season began with sophomore Carnie Norris starting ahead of Walker at tailback as the Bulldogs faced the

  • 1996 Dallas Cowboys biography of Walker: Professional, college, personal
  • Career statistics and player information from • ESPN • Pro-Football-Reference
  • Professional MMA record for Herschel Walker from Sherdog
  • Herschel Walker at the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Herschel Walker at the Heisman Trophy official website
  • Entry in New Georgia Encyclopedia
  • Career
  • Works by or about Herschel Walker in libraries (WorldCat catalog)

External links

  1. ^ Kirkpatrick, Curry (October 3, 2007). "Walker: A Renaissance Man". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 22, 2009. 
  2. ^ Hoppes, Lynn. "After MMA, Herschel Walker thinks about public office – Page 2". ESPN. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Nearing 50, Renaissance jock Herschel Walker breaks fitness rules". CNN. October 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Trojan 70's". Johnson County Trojans Website. September 19, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2007. The Trojans, led by Herschel Walker won their second consecutive Region 3-A championship and their first State Championship. Herschel finished the season with 3,167 yards. 
  5. ^ "Herschel Walker". Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Herschel Walker". Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Herschel Walker". Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Profile of Herschel WALKER –". Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ Todor Krastev (February 5, 2006). "Bobsleigh Doubles Olympic Games 1992 Albertville". Retrieved November 15, 2007. 
  10. ^ Wine, Steven (January 3, 2012). "Utah Local News". The Salt Lake Tribune. Miami: Associated Press. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  11. ^ "1980 Heisman Trophy". Retrieved November 15, 2007. 
  12. ^ "1982 Heisman Trophy". Retrieved December 3, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Herschel Walkers". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 15, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Georgia Signs Herschel Walker". Spartanburg Herald (Spartanburg, South Carolina). Associated Press. April 7, 1980. p. B1. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. pp. 73–89.  
  16. ^ Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. p. 203.  
  17. ^ Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. pp. 204–207.  
  18. ^ Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. pp. 90–97, 204.  
  19. ^ Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. p. 209.  
  20. ^ Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. pp. 114–159, 210.  
  21. ^ Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. pp. 160–169, 211–212.  
  22. ^ Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. pp. 170–190, 213.  
  23. ^ Smith, Loran; Grizzard, Lewis (1981). GLORY! GLORY!. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers Limited. pp. 190, 201.  
  24. ^ Outlar, Jessie (September 6, 1981). "The Beat Goes On...Georgia 44, Tennessee 0". The Atlanta Journal-The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia). pp. 1C, 10C. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Clemson Steals 13-3 Upset Win Over Georgia". Gainesville Sun (Gainesville, Fla.). September 20, 1981. p. 6D. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Georgia thumps Gamecocks". Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.). September 27, 1981. p. 4D. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ Nissenson, Herschel (November 7, 1981). "College Football Roundup--Allen, McMahon, Northwestern Set Records". Schenectady Gazette (Schenectady, N.Y.). p. 38. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Dooley says 'Dogs deserve Sugar bid". The Tuscaloosa News (Tuscaloosa, Ala.). November 15, 1981. pp. 2B, 3B. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ Shearer, Ed (December 6, 1981). "Walker wrecks Tech, 44-7". Gadsden Times (Gadsden, Ala.). p. 17. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Pittsburgh Nips Georgia In Sugar Bowl, 24-20". The News and Courier (Charleston, S.C.). January 2, 1982. p. 1-C. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Pitt Dashes Bulldogs Hopes 24-20, In 1982 Sugar Bowl". GEORGIA BULLDOG FOOTBALL – 1984 (Sports Information Office – Georgia Athletic Dept. - The University of Georgia): 100. 1984. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Walker Breaks Thumb". Oscala Star-Banner (Oscala, Fla.). August 22, 1982. p. 1C. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Walker injects life into Georgia". Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.). September 8, 1982. p. 2D. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Georgia. 17-14". The Day (New London, Conn.). September 12, 1982. p. C7. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Defense helps Georgia squeeze past Cougars". Gadsden Times (Gadsden, Ala.). September 12, 1982. p. 3B. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Georgia, 34-18". Eugene Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon). September 26, 1982. p. 8B. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Georgia Overcomes Vanderbilt, 27-13". The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Penn.). October 17, 1982. p. D-4. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  38. ^ Dogs Need Rally For 27-14 Win"'". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, Fla.). October 24, 1982. p. 7. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Florida edges Auburn on final play". Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.). October 31, 1982. p. 4D. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Fired-up Dogs fry Florida". Rome News-Tribune (Rome, Ga.). November 7, 1982. p. 1-C. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  41. ^ Kendall, Josh (November 15, 2002). "Georgia, Auburn no strangers to playing for titles". Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Walker, Dogs Topple Tech". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, Fla.). November 28, 1982. p. 16-B. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Penn State No 1". The Milwaukee Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wis.). January 3, 1983. p. 6, part 2. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  44. ^ "This is the USFL Yearly Leaders". The USFL Fan Club. Retrieved November 16, 2007. 
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^ Viking Update Staff (June 20, 2001). "History: Walker Trade". Retrieved January 29, 2008. 
  49. ^ Reusse, Patrick (November 22, 2006). "Banquet packs 'em in, winner drives 'em out". Star Tribune. Retrieved November 15, 2007. 
  50. ^ "United States Football League Players O-Z". 
  51. ^ "Pro Football Reference". 
  52. ^ a b "Herschel Walkers: Career Stats". Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  53. ^ "Top 20 – Combined Net yards". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  54. ^ Maisel, Ivan (August 16, 1999). "SI's NCAA Football All-Century Team". Sports Illustrated.  
  55. ^ "25 Greatest Players in College Football". Retrieved December 3, 2007. 
  56. ^ "Herschel Walker". Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  57. ^ "IMDb". 
  58. ^ "Herschel back in purple?". Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  59. ^ "Interview with ABC News". April 14, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  60. ^ Thomas C. Hayes (April 11, 1988). "Walker Balances Bulk With Ballet". New York Times. 
  61. ^ "Football great Herschel Walker joins the ranks of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio". Washington Post. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  62. ^ Nearing 50, Renaissance jock Herschel Walker breaks fitness rules October 11, 2010 CNN Health
  63. ^ Andrew Gladstone (Correspondent) (January 29, 2011). "Strikeforce's Herschel Walker Considering Return To Legendary Football Career". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  64. ^ "Herschel Walker — Interview". ABILITY Magazine (Herschel Walker Issue). Jun–Jul 2008. 
  65. ^ "Herschel Walker to Talk About Mental Illness at Collin College". Town Square Buzz. September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  66. ^ "Herschel's Famous 33 and H. Walker Foods". Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  67. ^ He was fired from the show on April 17. Trump Rounds Up Celebs for New Season of the Apprentice NY Times, January 7, 2009
  68. ^ "Episode 109". Inside MMA. 2007-11-09. HDNet. 
  69. ^ Hendricks, Maggie (September 21, 2009). "Former NFLer Herschel Walker signed with Strikeforce". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  70. ^ Non, Sergio (January 14, 2010). "Herschel Walker puts his life into American Kickboxing Academy's hands". USA Today. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  71. ^ Chiappetta, Mike (December 4, 2009). "Herschel Walker Begins AKA Training for Jan. 30 Strikeforce Debut". Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  72. ^ "Nearing 50, Renaissance jock Herschel Walker breaks fitness rules". CNN. October 11, 2010. 
  73. ^ Gentile, Kathy (January 30, 2010). "Match Results" (PDF). Tallahassee, Florida: Florida State Boxing Commission. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  74. ^ "Herschel Walker Donating MMA Debut Fight Purse to Charity". December 20, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  75. ^ Martin, Damon (November 2, 2010). "Herschel Walker's Next Strikeforce Opponent to be Revealed Friday". Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  76. ^ Pishna, Ken (November 6, 2010). "Herschel Walker Faces Scott Carson in MMA Return for Strikeforce". Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  77. ^ Al, Shaun. "Herschel Walker Hoping For One Final Fight Despite Worries From Family – MMA Nation". Retrieved September 27, 2012. 


Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 2–0 Scott Carson TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg January 29, 2011 1 3:13 San Jose, California, United States
Win 1–0 Greg Nagy TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Miami January 30, 2010 3 2:17 Sunrise, Florida, United States

Mixed martial arts record

Strikeforce confirmed that Walker would face former WEC fighter Scott Carson when he made his second appearance in the Strikeforce cage.[76] Walker was forced off the Strikeforce card on December 4 due to a cut suffered in training that required seven stitches. They fought instead on January 29, 2011, and Walker defeated Carson via TKO (strikes) at 3:13 of round 1.[77]

He began a 12-week training camp with trainer "Crazy" Bob Cook at the AKA American Kickboxing Academy in October 2009 in San Jose, California.[70][71] In his MMA debut on January 30, 2010, Walker defeated Greg Nagy via technical knock-out due to strikes at Strikeforce: Miami.[72][73] According to Scott Coker, the Strikeforce CEO, Walker pledged to donate his fight purse to charity.[74] Scott Coker announced Walker would fight again on December 4, 2010 in St. Louis, Mo.[75]

In November 2007, Walker appeared on the HDNet show Inside MMA as a guest. He indicated that he would take part in a mixed martial arts reality show in the near future (along with José Canseco) and that he would have an official MMA fight at the conclusion of the show.[68] In September 2009, it was announced that Herschel had been signed by MMA promotion company Strikeforce to compete in their heavyweight division.[69]

Herschel Walker
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 16 st)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 74.0 in (188 cm)
Stance Orthodox
Team American Kickboxing Academy
Rank 5th-degree black belt in Taekwondo
Years active 2010–2011
Mixed martial arts record
Total 2
Wins 2
By knockout 2
Losses 0
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Mixed martial arts career

Throughout the season, each celebrity raised money for a charity of his or her choice; Walker selected "Alternative Community Development Services." [67] he was fired during the 8th episode for failing as Project Manager on a task to create a new meal for Schwan's LiveSmart frozen food line.[66]. Although he owns a food service company,Celebrity Apprentice reality television show Donald Trump He was a contestant in the second season of the [65] On October 11, 2011, he visited the Central Park Campus of

Walker has the mental condition dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder. He describes it to ABILITY Magazine as "I would say that we wear different hats in different situations. You have a white hat for your home life. You have a red hat for work. As an athlete, you’ve got a green hat for competition. But with DID, your hats get all mixed up, meaning that your hat for competition has now become your home hat, your home hat has become your work hat, your work hat has become some other hat and so on. DID is a coping mechanism to help you overcome something."[64]

Walker at Fort Gordon, about his new book, "Breaking Free, My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder"

Dissociative identity disorder

Walker has participated in a variety of sports including football, Olympic bobsledding, track and field, taekwondo, and ballet dancing. Instead of lifting weights, he has a daily regimen of 750 to 1,500 push-ups and 2,000 sit-ups.[62] He has been going through this same routine since high school.[63]

Walker is known for his unorthodox training and dieting methods. Walker claims he sleeps five hours a night and eats only one meal a day (skipping breakfast and lunch). Walker also claims his diet is made up mostly of soup, bread and salads.

Training and diet

In 2014, Walker appeared in a commercial paid for by the 2014 U.S. Senate election.[61]

In 1988, while still a Dallas Cowboy, he danced with the Fort Worth Ballet for a single performance.[60] He won back-to-back American Superstars competitions in 1987 and 1988.

Walker married his college sweetheart, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman in 1983. After 19 years they divorced in 2002.[59] They have one son together, Christian. Walker is a born-again Christian. He made a guest appearance on The Hour of Power, hosted by televangelist Robert Schuller. Walker has a fifth-degree black belt in tae kwon do.


On January 29, 2011 Walker announced that he was considering a return to the NFL. "I've told everyone that at 50 I might try football again to show people I can do that," Walker said. "I want to be the [58]

While Walker had a successful NFL career, he never played on a championship team. The move to Minnesota was the turning point in his NFL tenure. In 2008, the trade was selected by as the worst sports trade of all time. It was the subject of an episode of ESPN Classic's The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame.... In 2003 Johnson County High School named its football field in his honor.[56] Walker was a highly popular and visible personality, even in his college days, as evidenced by the fact that both a thoroughbred and a standardbred race horse were named after him, the former while he was still in college. He made several appearances in the sports documentary Damn Good Dog (2004).[57]

Walker is regarded as one of the top college running backs of all time. In 1999, he was selected to

He is the only player to gain 4,000 yards three different ways: rushing, receiving and kickoff returns. He is one of six players (Jim Brown, Lenny Moore, Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk and Thurman Thomas) to exceed 60 touchdowns rushing and 20 touchdowns receiving. He is the only NFL player with a 90+ yard reception, 90+ yard run and a 90+ yard kickoff return in one season (1994). He is the only player to record an 84+ yard touchdown run and an 84+ yard touchdown reception in the same game (December 14, 1986). He had 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving that day.

Walker rushed for 5,562 yards in his USFL career.[50] His combined rushing numbers for the USFL and the NFL (13,787 yards) would place him 5th All-Time on the NFL's career rushing list.[51]His combined all purpose yards for the USFL and the NFL (25,283 yards) would place him 1st All-Time on the NFL's list. In 12 NFL seasons, Walker gained 8,225 rushing yards, 4,859 receiving yards, and 5,084 kickoff-return yards.[52] for 18,168 total combined net yards, ranking him second among the NFL's all-time leaders in total yardage as of his retirement; as of the start of the 2007 NFL season, ten years later, he still ranked eighth.[53] He scored 84 touchdowns: 61 rushing, 21 receiving and returned two kick-offs for touchdowns.[52] Walker is the only other player besides Derrick Mason to have 10,000+ yards from scrimmage and 5,000+ return yards (all of which were on kickoff returns).


NFL Career Stats
Rushing Receiving
Year Team Att Yds Avg Lng TD No. Yds Avg Lng TD
1986 DAL 151 737 4.9 84 12 76 837 11.0 84 2
1987 DAL 209 891 4.3 60 7 60 715 11.9 44 1
1988 DAL 361 1,514 4.2 38 5 53 505 9.5 50 2
1989 DAL 81 246 3.0 20 2 22 261 11.9 52 1
1989 MIN 169 669 4.0 47 5 18 162 9.0 24 2
1990 MIN 184 770 4.2 58 5 35 315 9.0 52 4
1991 MIN 198 825 4.2 71 10 33 204 6.1 32 0
1992 PHI 267 1,070 4.0 38 8 38 278 7.3 19 2
1993 PHI 174 746 4.3 35 1 75 610 8.1 41 3
1994 PHI 113 528 4.7 91 5 50 500 10.0 55 2
1995 NYG 31 126 4.1 36 0 31 234 7.5 93 1
1996 DAL 10 83 8.3 39 1 7 89 12.7 34 0
1997 DAL 6 20 3.3 11 0 14 149 10.6 24 2
Totals 1,954 8,225 4.2 91 61 512 4,859 9.5 93 21


He finished his football career with the Cowboys. In 1996 he rejoined the team as a kickoff return specialist and third-down back. Walker retired at the end of the 1997 season.

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)

The New York Giants signed him in 1995 as a third-down back, but soon discovered that Walker wasn't elusive enough for the role. He couldn't play fullback either, because of limited blocking skills. Walker led the Giants with 45 kick returns at 21.5 Y/Return in 1995, his only season with the team.

New York Giants

After three seasons in Minnesota, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Walker in 1992 hoping he would be the final ingredient they needed to reach the Super Bowl. 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, leaving after the Eagles signed free agent Ricky Watters.

Philadelphia Eagles

He received three standing ovations from the record Metrodome crowd of 62,075, producing a Vikings win after four successive losses and 14 of the prior 18 matches with the Packers. His production thereafter declined. The team questioned his talent and commitment to football. He joined the Bobsled program of the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, earning a berth in the 1992 Winter Olympics. says, "Walker was never used properly by the coaching brain trust."[48] "Herschel the Turkey", a mock honor given out by the Star Tribune newspaper to particularly inept or disgraceful Minnesota sports personalities, is named for him.[49] Walker played for the Vikings for two and a half years, never amassing 1,000 rushing yards in a season.

Nicknamed the "HWT" (Herschel Walker trade), Walker's trade to Minnesota was initially considered by many as supplying the Vikings with the "missing piece" for a Super Bowl run, however, over time, as the Cowboys fortunes soared, and the Vikings waned, it became viewed as, perhaps, the most lopsided trade in NFL history.[45][46][47] From the moment he arrived in Minneapolis, "Herschel Mania" erupted. After a single 2½ hour practice where he studied only 12 offensive plays, Walker had an incredible debut against the Green Bay Packers. He produced the best rushing game by a Viking back since 1983 and the first over-100 yard rushing performance by a Viking since 1987, gaining 148 yards on 18 carries.

Minnesota Vikings

He established himself as a premier NFL running back in 1988, Walker became a one-man offense, reaching his NFL career highs of 1,514 rushing yards and 505 receiving yards, while playing seven positions: halfback, fullback, tight end, H-back, wide receiver, both in the slot and as a flanker. He became just the 10th player in NFL history to amass more than 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards in a season. In the process he achieved two consecutive Pro Bowls (1987 and 1988). In 1989, at the height of his NFL career, the Cowboys traded Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for a total of five players (LB Jesse Solomon, DB Issiac Holt, RB Darrin Nelson, LB David Howard, DE Alex Stewart) and six future draft picks. The five players were tied to potential draft picks Minnesota would give Dallas if a player was cut(which led to Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, and Darren Woodson). This was claimed to be a turning point in the rise of the Cowboys to the NFL's top echelon.

The Earl Campbell teamed with the 1984 New Orleans Saints.

Dallas Cowboys (first stint)

National Football League

USFL Career Stats
New Jersey Generals
Rushing Receiving
Year Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds TD
1983 412 1,812 4.4 80 17 53 489 1
1984 293 1,339 4.6 69 16 40 528 5
1985 438 2,411 5.5 88 21 37 467 1
Career 1,143 5,562 4.9 88 54 130 1,484 7


He won the USFL rushing title in 1983 and 1985 and in the latter year produced over 4,000 yards in total offense. He set the professional football record for single-season rushing yards with 2,411 yards in 1985, averaging 5.50 yards per attempt in 18 games. Over the course of his USFL career, Walker had 5,562 yards rushing in 1,143 carries, averaging 4.87 yards. In 1983, he rushed for 1,812 yards in 18 games. In his second season, his rushing yardage dropped to 1,339, but he caught passes for more than 800 yards giving him over 2,100 yards in total offense.[44]

The USFL had initially followed the NFL and banned underclassmen. However, league officials concluded the rule would never stand up in court, and discarded it. To circumvent the league's $1.8-million salary cap, Walker signed a personal services contract with Duncan (later transferred to Trump.) Similar arrangements were later made with other college stars. Although this move was challenged in court, Walker and the USFL prevailed.

United States Football League rules (unlike the NFL) allowed athletes to turn professional after their junior seasons rather than wait for their collegiate class to graduate a year later. Further, the rules allowed him to choose where to play, allowing him to maximize his endorsement income. He stated, "I don't know if I would want to play in the NFL unless it was for the two New York teams or the Dallas Cowboys." Walker signed with the New Jersey Generals in 1983, owned by Oklahoma oil tycoon J. Walter Duncan, who after the 1983 season sold the team to real-estate mogul Donald Trump. Walker attracted only one major promotional offer, a joint project of McDonald's and Adidas.

United States Football League

Professional career

Rushing Receiving
Year Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds TD
1980 274 1,616 5.9 76 15 7 70 1
1981 385 1,891 4.9 32 18 14 84 2
1982 335 1,752 5.2 59 16 5 89 1
Career 994 5,259 5.3 76 49 26 243 4


Georgia wrapped up its third SEC Championship in as many seasons as Walker led the way. On December 4, 1982, Walker was awarded the Todd Blackledge completed a 46-yard TD pass to wideout Gregg Garrity. Penn State held on to win 27-23, and won the national championship by a unanimous vote in both the AP and UPI polls. Walker rushed 28 times for 102 yards and caught a pass for 15 yards against the Mark Robinson-led PSU defense.[43]

In the last regular season game of Walker's career at the University of Georgia, the Yellow Jackets were no match as Georgia raced to a 38-18 win over Georgia Tech on November 27. Walker broke five tackles and sprinted 59 yards for a score in the first quarter. Georgia led 7-6 at the half. The Bulldogs scored 17 points in the 3rd quarter which included a 1-yard TD run by Walker. He finished with 27 rushes for 162 yards against the Rambling Wreck.[42] The victory pitted the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs against the No. 2 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1983.

[41] Georgia faced the Auburn Tigers on November 13 at [40] Georgia took control against tough opposition during the month of November. They got past Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech to complete a perfect 11-0 regular season, and were the No. 1 ranked team in the country. Walker dismantled Florida by scoring on touchdown runs of 30, 1, and 1 yards as Georgia led 17-0 at the half. UGA led 27-0 after another Walker TD in the third quarter. He rushed 35 times for 219 yards during the contest which was his signature win. "We were ready for this game," Walker said. "We were more fired up than Florida."

Georgia finished October by knocking off Kentucky (27-14) and Memphis State (34-3) to push its record to 8-0 going into the Florida game in Jacksonville. Walker maintained a heavy load, rushing 34 times against Kentucky for 152 yards. The Wildcats led 10-3 in the second quarter when Walker caught a John Lastinger touchdown pass. Walker's reception came on a screen pass as he raced 64 yards to paydirt to cut the deficit to 14-10. Lastinger threw two more TD's in the second half as Georgia pulled away. Walker finished with 79 receiving yards on 3 catches.[38] In Georgia's matchup with Memphis St., Walker shattered the Southeastern Conference career scoring record as his third-ranked Bulldogs swept past the Tigers by 31 points. He ran for a season-high 219 yards on 33 carries and 2 touchdowns which extended Memphis St.'s losing streak to 15 games.[39]

In October, Georgia faced Terry Hoage, who had 3 interceptions in the contest.[37]

After the tough win against BYU, Walker and company won out to finish the regular season. After getting past South Carolina, 34-18, on September 25, Georgia rolled during the month of October. Walker's performance against the Gamecocks was modest, by his standards (32 rushes, 143 yards, and 1 TD), but he ran hard while still wearing the cast on his injured hand.[36]

[35][34] The season resumed as #6 Georgia faced a tough test in

[33] When the two teams met on September 6, Walker wore a bulky, padded cast on his right thumb. Clemson jumped out to a 7-0 lead on QB [32] With the season opener against defending national champion Clemson looming, the University of Georgia received bad news when Herschel Walker suffered a fractured right thumb in practice on August 21, 1982. He was expected to be out of action for 3–6 weeks.


[31][30] Riding an 8-game winning streak, Georgia (10-1) was ranked No. 2 in the country when they faced Pittsburgh (also 10-1, ranked No. 10) in the

[29] Walker and the Georgia Bulldogs finished out the regular season at home against nearby rivals in the Auburn Tigers (November 14) and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (December 5). The 24-13 win over coach

On November 7, seventh-ranked Georgia and Walker got behind, 14-0, down in Jacksonville, Fla. to the Florida Gators, but came back to win in a repeat score of the game from a season before, 26-21. Walker rushed a career-high 47 times for 192 yards while scoring touchdowns on runs of 4, 1, 24, and 16 yards against the Gators.[27]

Walker's Bulldogs reeled off solid wins—all in October—over Ole Miss (37-7), Vanderbilt (53-21), Kentucky (21-0), and Temple (49-3). He rushed for a season-high 265 yards on 41 attempts and a TD against Mississippi on October 10. A week later, Walker rushed 39 times for 188 yards and 2 TDs versus Vanderbilt. Against Temple, he scored a career-high 4 touchdowns while rushing 23 times for 112 yards against the Owls.

Georgia and Walker rebounded by blanking South Carolina, 24-0, on September 26 as the sophomore running back ran for 176 yards on 36 carries. Georgia, however, only led 3-0 at the half. Walker opened things up for the Bulldogs in the third quarter by scoring on TD runs of 3 and 8 yards to put the Gamecocks away.[26]

[25] After hitting a dip in the season, losing 13-3 to eventual national champion

It didn't take long for the momentum from 1980 to carry over into 1981 for the Georgia Bulldogs as Walker and company took control early in the season by racing past Tennessee (44-0) and the Cal Golden Bears (27-13) during the first two weekends of September for easy wins. Against the Volunteers, he rushed for 161 yards in 30 snaps and scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 47 yards, but the long run was wiped out by a clipping penalty. Walker pounded California by rushing 35 times for 167 yards on September 12, 1981.[24]


[23] At the season's conclusion, Walker had helped his Georgia Bulldogs complete a 12-0-0 record as the

[22] Walker and the Georgia Bulldogs faced traditional football power Notre Dame in the

Georgia clinched the SEC Championship with a 6-0 mark in league play on November 15 by taking out Auburn, 31-21, on the road. Walker did most of the work by rushing 27 times for 84 yards which included an 18-yard TD run during the third quarter. This gave Georgia a 31-7 lead, and the Bulldogs held on to win the game. Two weeks later, Walker ended the regular season with an exclamation point by scoring on touchdown runs of 1, 23, and 65 yards as Georgia defeated in-state rival Dan Devine's Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-1-1) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La. on January 1, 1981.[21]

[20] Georgia had made it to 8-0 when coach Dooley's Bulldogs faced the most daunting task of the year. The game would be affectionately referred to as the "Miracle on Duval Street" as second-ranked Georgia faced a 6-1

[19] The special teams and defense gave Georgia the upperhand in the two weekends that followed as the Bulldogs got past

In the games that followed, Georgia raced to a 6-0 start by knocking off Scott Woerner to get past defensive-minded Clemson as the return man delivered with a 67-yard punt return for a score early in the first quarter as the Bulldogs would go on to win – barely.[18]

A week later, Georgia traveled to face Texas A&M as the Bulldogs got off to a 28-0 lead by halftime. With four minutes left in the third quarter, Walker broke off on a 76-yard TD run. He finished with 21 carries for 145 yards and 3 TDs against the Aggies. Teammate Buck Belue complemented Walker's ground game by going 6 of 13 for 147 passing yards during the contest.[16]


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