THOMASTON, Ga. — Update: It's official. UGA's Travon Walker is the No. 1 draft pick. He was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 2022 NFL Draft starts Thursday night and it’s an exciting time for NFL hopefuls around the country, especially in the Peach State and Central Georgia. One Central Georgian from Thomaston, Travon Walker, is expecting to hear his name called early.
It’s spring conditioning for the eighth graders at Upson-Lee Middle School as they prepare to head over to high school this fall. Walker was a player who went through the same drills about five years ago and is now projected to be picked in the first round, possibly No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“We knew he was going to play on Saturdays and we knew he’d have the potential to play on Sundays, and he’s just been blowing it up since he got there… especially his last year,” said Justin Elder.
Elder was Walker’s head football coach his junior and senior seasons but helped coach the former Knights standout his entire career. He’s not surprised how Walker turned out on and off the field.
“When he was in high school, he would cut up with his classmates and teammates, but when work had to get done, he would get it done. For him to come back on Travon Walker Day and spend hours signing autographs and taking pictures with that big smile… just to see that humility is motivational,” said Elder.
While at the University of Georgia, Walker emerged to be a full-time starter during his junior season, helping lead the red and black to the first national championship in more than 40 years.
After the season, he declared himself eligible for the draft to make his dream of going pro come true. His move helps current players like Jaden Weems see the sky is the limit.
“It’s very cool. I like it because it motivates me everyday to know I can make it because he did,” said Weems.
Whatever happens come draft time, there’s no doubt Walker has made his Thomaston community proud to call him a hometown hero.
“I’m glad it’s happening for this town, this program and his family, so it’s exciting,” said Elder.
Walker’s agent, Vincent Taylor, says Walker will be at a private party in Atlanta surrounded by his family and close friends – exactly the way he wanted. Taylor says it’s a safe bet Walker will get drafted early in the first round.