Herschel Walker only played four seasons in the Metropolitan Area, but the former Heisman winner still has a soft spot in his heart for the Big Apple.
“New York has always been like a home for me and I hate to say that in this Southern Accent,” Walker said on a conference call with reporters Monday before he fights his second MMA bout Saturday night. “I started in New York with the (New Jersey) Generals and my ex-wife is from Brooklyn and all her family members are there in New York so I got to know New York almost like a home turf for me. I love Philly, but heading to New York it was almost like coming back home."
Walker, who is now embarking on a MMA career and will face Scott Carson Saturday night at 10 p.m. in the undercard of a Strikeforce world championship doubleheader, played his first three professional football seasons with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League. Walker previously won the Heisman Trophy as a running back at the University of Georgia.
Walker eventually moved to the NFL where he played for the Cowboys, Vikings, Eagles and Giants. He joined Big Blue in 1995 after signing a three-year deal with the team, but the partnership didn’t work out that well for either side. In 16 games, Walker rushed 31 times for 126 yards (4.1 average) and caught 31 passes for 234 yards and one touchdown. The Giants finished 5-11 that season and would cut Walker in 1996. He finished his career back with the Cowboys.
“New York was going through a transition then with Coach (Dan) Reeves and it was literally different but I enjoyed being in New York and I’ve always enjoyed New York. I’m honest, by saying this, New York is like a home for me.”
While Walker, 48, hasn’t played since 1997, the two-time Pro Bowler is confident he could once again put on the pads and play on Sundays. While he enjoyed New York, Walker said if he was to return to the NFL, the Georgia native would prefer to stay home and play for the Atlanta Falcons.
“I know I can play, if I continue to stay in the shape I am right now, I know I can play when I’m 50,” Walker said. “ Right now, it’s asked if I can play today, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind I can play football today, I can help out a team today.”