Other "Herschel" News:
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Experience At Georgia Shapes Walker
Walker's Track Accomplishments Equally Impressive
By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
9/7 8pm on ESPNU
9/11 1pm, 6pm
ATLANTA – Vince Dooley remembers waiting by the phone that Easter weekend.
Speaking last Thursday night in Atlanta at a special premiere of the ESPN documentary “Herschel,” hosted at the World of Coke, the former Georgia head coach recalled that he was supposed to take a family trip to Boston that weekend, but was waiting to find out if the great Herschel Walker would sign with the Bulldogs.
“I had promised [my wife] that I was going to Boston with her and the children for Easter, but when Thursday came, I said ‘I can’t go,” Dooley said. “I said, ‘Well, Herschel hasn’t signed.’ I remember [recruiting coordinator] Steve Greer coming in Sunday morning. We went down and couldn’t even go in and sign him because we’d had all our visits, and then when you signed, we all went in there and hugged him and it was a great thrill.”
Walker proved to be a thrill on the gridiron for Georgia fans everywhere from 1980-82, but his is a story that goes deeper than the yard lines and goal posts.
“Herschel” is the first in a series of four one-hour documentaries airing this school year that will highlight the tradition of the Southeastern Conference and its member institutions. Walker, his former teammates, coaches, family and friends were all on hand last Thursday to view the documentary.
ESPNU will debut “Herschel” on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET as part of its SEC “Storied” series.
“At first, it was kind of embarrassing because I never think I am worthy of something like this,” Walker said Thursday. “Then I was honored that they would select me to do one for the SEC. The reason why is that there have been so many great players and so many great people in the SEC. For me to be the first one that they do a documentary of, I am very honored.”
Walker grew up in rural Georgia and, as a result of being overweight and having a speech impediment, was endlessly bullied. “Herschel” chronicles Walker’s transformation from a kid who went from being beaten up on his last day of eighth grade to becoming one of the top athletes in the state of Georgia when he entered Johnson County High School.
Walker trained himself through sheer determination, training with a regiment that included racing trains on the nearby railroad tracks and grueling numbers of push-ups and sit-ups daily.
“I always say that I want to inspire people to be better than they can be,” Walker said. “I don’t care where you’re from or what you have to go through, as long as you have a positive frame of mind, you can overcome anything. I let people know that life is going to be tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to do the wrong thing. That doesn’t mean you have to go down the wrong track.”
The 1982 Heisman Trophy recipient, Walker would set 11 NCAA records, 16 Southeastern Conference records and 41 University of Georgia records during the course of his collegiate career. Even so, he could never get away from the mental torment of the bullying in his youth. “Herschel” also chronicles Walker’s battle with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
In this hour-long documentary, viewers will see not only Walker’s explosive plays and some great Georgia highlights, but also a tremendous insight into Walker as a man, and how he has overcome tremendous obstacles in his life.
ABOUT THE “STORIED” SERIES
ESPN’s award-winning Content Development unit (30 for 30) will create four one-hour documentaries highlighting the traditions, rivalries and unique stories of the Southeastern Conference it was announced at the conference’s Media Days event in Birmingham, Ala. The “Storied” series will debut on ESPNU Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. ET with Herschel, about former University of Georgia and pro football standout, Herschel Walker.
ESPNU will televise four “Storied” documentaries per year. The series’ second film highlighting the first SEC football championship game will air in December. All of the films will re-air on ESPN or ESPN2.
John Dahl, executive producer, ESPN Content Development, said, “We pride ourselves on our dedication to storytelling. The SEC’s rich, layered history certainly lends itself to a series of this kind. We look forward to sharing these captivating stories with SEC fans.”
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, “The “Storied” series will be an opportunity to take fans behind the scenes of some of the compelling stories that have been part of the history of the Southeastern Conference. These films will add to ESPN’s list of outstanding production in the tradition of its "30 for 30" series.”