Herschel Walker Is Still The Greatest CFB Running Back Ever
Yesterday during the latest episode of the Tanndemonium Sports Show, a random topic came about when the crew started talking about the USFL Draft. Yes, somehow that’s back. Herschel Walker legitimized the USFL prior to when Donald Trump decided to sink the ship.
For whatever reason, Walker isn’t remembered the way he should be. Probably because the USFL stint took several years away from what could have been prime years in the NFL. That doesn’t or shouldn’t take away the fact that Walker is still the greatest running back in the history of college football.
You probably won’t see a running back like Herschel Walker again because it’s hard to find any person that has his level of work ethic. Walker was picked on as a kid for a speech impediment. Walker essentially filled his heart with hate and proceeded to work out like a lunatic.
Walker does 1,000 push-ups and sit-ups every single day. He still works out like his life is on the line. Walker is in such good shape that he’s 2-0 in MMA fights. Keep in mind, Walker was born in 1962 and he’s still kicking everyone’s ass. They just simply don’t make many humans like this.
Walker attended Johnson County High School in Georgia. In his senior year, Walker rushed for 3,167 yard guiding Johnson County to a state title. It’s the only state title Johnson County has ever won in football. It’s because Walker carried them to it. That’s the kind of talent we were talking about.
Walker was also a real track star. Not one of those fake ones where an NFL player is fast and thinks he can compete. Walker was Olympic level fast and could have beaten Carl Lewis in a race anytime he wanted to. Except Walker was 60 pounds heavier and built like a train.
Long story short Walker went from a fat kid with a speech impediment to a valedictorian with Olympic level speed carrying a no name to a state title in GEORGIA. Yeah, that’s not happening again. No chance.
Georgia might be on top of the world in the college football world right now, but that wasn’t always the case. In 1979, Georgia went 6-5 and was a middle of the road program. In 1980, Georgia was trailing 9-0 to Tennessee in the first game of the season. Vince Dooley put Herschel into the game… The Dawgs finished the season 12-0 and won their first ever National title. Yeah, Walker was THAT good.
Walker was immediately the best player in college football his true freshman season and probably could have run for 1,500 yards in the NFL at 19. Not a joke. Walker rushed for 1,616 yards as a true freshman helping guide Georgia to a Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame.
Walker only didn’t win the Heisman that year because George Rogers was a senior and voters refused to give it to young pups at that point. Georgia’s quarterback Buck Belue threw for 1,314 yards that season on 49.4% completion. Georgia won the National Title anyway. In fact, Walker is so good that he is solely responsible for Belue hosting a radio show. You think that guy has a show without Walker? Stop it.
After that freshman season, teams started game planning for Walker. They stacked the box and put all their eggs in that basket. Georgia’s run scheme wasn’t exactly complex either. It was toss to the left or toss to the right. There was no passing game. It was hope and pray Walker can make eight guys miss and win the game by himself.
In 1981, Walker totted the rock 385 times for 1,891 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Dawgs would have won another national title if it weren’t for Dan Marino throwing a touchdown pass in the Sugar Bowl with 35 seconds left to lead Pitt to the title instead. Kind of the same thing happened the following year with a much better Penn State team and Todd Blackledge.
Walker was forced to leave Georgia his senior year after signing with an agent to play for the USFL. If that league had been founded five years later, Walker probably returns to school and guides his team to another national title game.
Walker is currently 17th on the all-time rushing leader list in college football. There isn’t a single name ahead of him on that list that played only three years in college. Walker could have easily been a four time national champ and four time Heisman winner had Georgia been the program back then that they are today. Of course, we can kind of credit Walker for laying the foundation for that success.
We look at the Hershel Walker trade now and automatically think disaster. Instead, we should maybe consider the fact that Walker is solely responsible for kick starting the Cowboys dynasty. Walker was so good that the Vikings were willing to trade everything for a 27 year old running back with an insane amount of mileage already under his belt.
I just want you to think about that for a second. The Vikings traded three first round picks and three second round picks plus more for an aging running back. Walker was that good.
Circumstances prevented Herschel from being an all-time great in the NFL. However, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that this is the best college running back that ever existed. Walker made people believe in miracles. Walker did things that should have been considered impossible. Put some respect on his name when we’re talking about the greatest to ever do it.