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Georgia Football

The Moment Georgia Bulldog Travon Walker Arrived

April 27, 2022

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ATHENS - Former 5-star recruit and Georgia Bulldogs Travon Walker’s journey to the NFL is over now. 

The national champion is headed to the league. But before the money, fame and draft night, Walker was a two-sport star and son of a Marine. 2022 is only the third year of his life where he has focused singularly on football. 

The former Upson-Lee star is big and mobile. Watching him play middle linebacker in high school solidified his big-man athleticism. Shooting baskets with him a few months later confirmed that he could play college basketball, too. 

What will the future dictate for Walker after Thursday night’s NFL Draft? The closer to the top you go the more folks poke holes in your future. But what the NFL is getting is a still young and slightly raw athlete that had a firm upbringing that will serve him well in the league. 

I find it hard to believe Walker is going to go off the rails. 

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Still, the criticism that he didn’t make enough plays at Georgia, specifically in 2021, might be valid. Then again, Georgia didn’t have a ton of games that came down to the wire. That Walker played with the 1927 Yankees on defense didn’t help his chance to shine statistically. 

He only had one sack in the College Football National Championship Game, but he had seven quarterbacks hurries. It wasn’t exclusively Walker who forced Alabama’s Bryce Young into trouble all night, but he harassed him more than any other Dawg that night. 

And let me tell you - Young was harassed. 40 quarterback pressures in one game is… a lot. 

(But Alabama’s injuries…)

Walker more than doubled his pass-rushing production from the SEC Championship Game. That’s turning it on when you have to. 

Still, I come back to one play that encapsulates what Walker can do at the next level. It was the 2019 Auburn game, and Georgia was clinging to a 21-14 lead late. Jake Fromm and the Dawgs’ offense, as they often did that fall, did just enough to get the lead before shutting down. 

It was up to the defense. 

On fourth and ballgame from the Auburn 27, Bo Nix and the No. 12 Tigers needed ten yards to keep their game of momentum going. Six men were in the box, and Walker was at nose. After a false move forward, Walker sprinted around the left side. Auburn’s line was busy worrying about Quay Walker. 

Nix held the ball in his right hand at the Auburn 18, trying to figure out what to do next. By then Walker was dragging him to the ground. The game was over. Georgia had won the SEC East once more. I should point out that Walker spied on Nix on second down. 

Travon Walker, a defensive lineman, was at least in part accountable for one of the fastest players on the field at a or the pivotal moment of the game. 

The high-pitch cheer from Georgia fans around the Redcoats pierced the cold night air. Georgia coach Kirby Smart, amped up on adrenaline from the win, ran towards Walker to celebrate - that move went about as well as Nix’s attempt to escape Walker. 

Both wound up on the ground - unlike Nix, Kirby was on the ground with a smile. The former Dawg bounced off Walker’s shoulder pads, and hit the cold turf, and his white visor went tumbling. It was another in a line of wins over one of Georgia’s hated rivals. It was the night Kirby couldn’t help himself, and exclaimed “How ‘Bout Them Expletive Dawgs?” In a press conference. 

It was passion personified. It was epic. And it was brought to you by Walker.


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