Walker delivers golden football to CCHS
by Cindy Crosby | August 27, 2016 9:17 pm
Former NFL player, Darwin Walker, returned home to his high school alma mater on Friday, August 26, 2016. Arriving just in time for halftime of the Colleton County High School Cougar Football game, Walker and his family came bearing a very special gift – a golden 50th Anniversary Super Bowl football. As part of the NFL’s Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program, Wilson donated golden footballs to the alma mater of each player who competed in a Super Bowl as part of last year’s 50th anniversary celebration for Super Bowl XL.
In front of a large crowd at Cougar Stadium, Walker, along with his family, presented Dr. Melissa Crosby, principal of Colleton County High School, with the commemorate football to be placed in the Hall of Fame. “On behalf of the NFL, I’d like to present this beautiful, golden football to Colleton County High School, and to all of you, to be placed in the Hall of Fame,” said Walker during his presentation.
“We were honored to have Darwin and his family present the Super Bowl golden football to Colleton County High School,” said Athletic Director and head football coach, Chris Collins. “It will be placed in the Hall of Fame before the next football game in order for everyone to be able to enjoy it.”
“I count it a privilege to accept this gift on behalf of Colleton County High School,” said Dr. Crosby. “It represents many years of Darwin Walker’s hard work and perseverance personally and professionally. The Walker family will always hold a special place in the heart of Colleton County athletics.”
The National Football League (NFL) unveiled the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program last year in an effort to acknowledge high schools, and communities, which directly influenced Super Bowl history by producing players and coaches who participated in a Super Bowl. According to the NFL website, when the effort is finalized, there will be nearly 3,000 golden footballs delivered to more than 2,000 high schools. The Darwin Walker 50th Anniversary Super Bowl Football is one of the 66 South Carolina will receive from NFL players or coaches. California will receive the most golden footballs (432) with the remaining top states identified as: Texas (326); Florida (218); Ohio (155) and Pennsylvania (148).
Walker, graduating fourth in his class from Walterboro High School in 1995, was a standout running back and defensive tackle for the Bulldogs, lettering in football and track and field. He attended North Carolina State University for one year, before transferring to the University of Tennessee, where he won a National Championship with the Tennessee Vols in 1998. While at Tennessee, he would be named Third-team All-American, twice named First-team All-SEC and earned recognition as Tennessee’s Outstanding Defensive Lineman in 1998. Walker would go on to graduate Magna Cum Laude in Civil Engineering in 2000.
In his professional career, Walker would be drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round (71st overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft, but was waived after playing in one game. He was claimed by the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2000 season and would have a storied career through the 2006 season. During his time as an Eagle, Walker helped propel them to five postseason appearances and three trips to the NFC Divisional Playoffs – one of which ended in his 2004 start in Super Bowl XXIX against New England, where he recovered a fumble by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Following his years as an Eagle, Walker spent time with the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. Since 2008, he has served as an analyst for Fox Sports and NBC, while sitting on the board and being a stakeholder in Pennoni Associates, Inc., an engineering company he started himself. According to his website, he also manages a commercial real estate portfolio across the Eastern United States.
In a post-presentation interview, Walker offered advice to the youth of Colleton County saying they should put their education first and continue to work diligently in order to attain their dreams.
Walker and his wife are kept busy raising three adorable, future “quarterback hunters,” all in attendance for his presentation to Colleton County High School on Friday evening. He was also joined by his parents, his brother James and brother-in-law, Antwan Nesmith (both former Walterboro High Bulldog standouts) and extended family for the halftime presentation.