Herschel Walker was born in Augusta, Georgia and grew up outside of Wrightsville, Georgia. For the first eleven years of his life, Herschel Walker showed little interest in sports; he preferred reading books and writing poetry. At age 12, however, he began a crash exercise program. Over the next year, he did 100,000 push-ups, 100,000 sit-ups and sprinted thousands of miles.
In high school, Walker played football and basketball and competed in track and field. He scored a record-breaking 85 touchdowns as a running back.and led his teams to state championships in both football and track, while maintaining an A average.
Herschel Walker participated in the 1980 Academy of Achievement program as the valedictorian of his class and the most sought-after high school football player in the nation.
At the University of Georgia, Walker set an NCAA freshman rushing record and helped capture the national collegiate football title. He earned consensus All-American honors three consecutive years, set 10 NCAA records, 15 Southeast Conference records, 30 Georgia all-time records, and capped a sensational college career by earning the 1982 Heisman Trophy in his junior year.
In 1983, Walker gave up his final year of collegiate eligibility and turned professional, joining the New Jersey Generals of the short-lived United States Football League. Walker dominated the league, earning Most Valuable Player honors and setting the single-season pro football rushing record (2411 yards). After his first pro season, he finished his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Georgia.