THOMASTON, Ga. — Upson-Lee football legend Travon Walker was back on the sidelines in Thomaston, this time as an honorary coach instead of a five-star athlete, inspiring future Knights of tomorrow.
“Just wanted to show them that goals can be accomplished no matter how big or small they are,” says Walker.
Upson-Lee Head Football Coach Justin Elder welcomed back 2022's number 1 NFL draft selection to honor him in front of his family, friends and fans for his actions on and off the field.
Elder said, “Not many can say you know the first pick of the first round and he comes from your hometown and he still wants to be a part of it. It’s awesome.”
During halftime of the Upson-Lee vs. Westside spring game, Walker’s signature 44 jersey was retired, a number he’s worn proudly at every level from high school to the University of Georgia as a national champion, and now as a starting linebacker with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“It feels great to be back,” says Walker. “It’s a special day for me, my family, and my community.”
Walker also expressed that roaming the sidelines at Matthew Field will never get old because Thomaston will always be home.
His father, Stead Walker, agrees, “It was always his dream to play sports and have high academics as well, and to have the people to come out and support him, it really means a lot.”
Walker also launched his own foundation that will continue to support young student athletes in this community and beyond. After the jersey retirement, he presented five checks worth $44,000 to UGA football, Upson-Lee football, basketball, track and field individually. The last check went to the Knights athletic department as a whole, as his way of giving back to the communities that raised him.