Travon Walker stepping up as a leader on dominant defense

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Travon Walker stepping up as a leader on dominant defense

When Azeez Ojulari declared for the NFL Draft, he was one of the main pieces leaving what was otherwise an experienced Georgia front seven. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart made it clear in pre-season, he expected Travon Walker to be a big piece of the puzzle to replace Ojulari’s production.

Walker’s play this season has been a big part of why most consider Georgia’s defensive line the best in the country. He does not have the sheer size of Jordan Davis or Devonte Wyatt but his speed as a defensive lineman makes him elite at the position.

“He is a freak of nature when it comes to athletic ability for that size,” said Smart on Tuesday. “I do not know how many years that it will be before I coach a guy who is that big that can run like that and has really good stamina with great toughness and effort. His stats may not be the best in the world, or they may not be what Azeez’s (Ojulari) are, but he is playing really well. He is playing really physical. He is playing a lot of snaps, and I am really proud of what he is doing in terms of leadership for our team.”





Walker was a two-sport standout in high school, excelling in basketball as well at Upson-Lee High School, which had a historic run as one of the best team’s in the state while he was there. He averaged a double-double on the court while knowing his future was going to be on the football field.

Like Smart said, since this “no-name” defense has truly worked by committee, he may not stand out with individual accolades. It is clear that his teammates respect Walker as a leader for what he brings to the defense.

“Travon Walker is a dog,” said senior defensive back Latavious Brini. “That is one of the guys that, he’s gonna step up. He’s going to voice his opinion. On this team you need guys like that, he’s an older guy and I love Travon Walker.”





It is hard to really gauge a player’s personality from virtual interviews but Walker seems to be all business. He cracks the occasional smile but for the most part, his booming voice makes it easy to see why others would listen when he speaks.

“You can say that I had to grow into it,” said Walker on his role as a vocal leader on this Georgia team. “Coming up in high school, I was kind of put in that same predicament. I’m just one of those guys that’s gonna go out there and work hard every day because I have a goal that I want to achieve later on in life.”

Part of what makes Walker so useful is his ability to be a three-down lineman. With his weight at 275 pounds, he does not have to come off of the field very often and as Smart said, is conditioned well physically. Experience and snaps have paid dividends for Walker.

If that goal he speaks of is eventually the NFL, he is well on his way to achieving it. With 19 tackles and three sacks on the season to go along with 2.5 tackles for loss, scouts will notice what Walker has done even with all of the talent around him. The reps that he will continue to get could be invaluable as Georgia pushes for a national championship.





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