Herschel Walker: 2020 Georgia Bulldogs ‘can win it all’

Credit: AJC

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Here's a game-by-game breakdown of the 2020 football schedule for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Credit: AJC

Even though Herschel Walker is co-chairman of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition in Washington, D.C., he doesn’t claim to have any special insights on whether college football is going to be played this year. But, for the sake of his Georgia Bulldogs, he sure hopes it is.

"Myself, I've been looking forward to seeing this Georgia team," Walker said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. "I think this team here is a team that can win it all. I think this Georgia team can be absolutely incredible. Now, to see what all is happening, not just with the players, but with all the schools themselves, I feel so sorry for them."

While professional sports are making a slow and deliberate return to play amid the coronavirus pandemic, college football remains in virtual limbo. The tentative plan is that the regular-season schedule that begins the first weekend of September will be played and that it will start on time. But whether that happens and what it might look like if and when it does is increasingly in question, especially with confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the rise nationwide.

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That includes college football players that have returned to their respective campuses to participate in voluntary workouts. Georgia and other SEC players returned June 8 and have been undergoing strength-and-conditioning training over the past month. While UGA has not shared its results, those workouts have come amid reports of dozens of players testing positive for the coronavirus at some other schools.

On July 15, SEC teams will be allowed to conduct actual football practices with eight hours of coaches’ supervision.

Walker sees all those developments as positive.

“I’m sure it’s hard to go out and practice when you don’t know what’s really, really going on,” Walker said of the players. “But I’m sure they want to play. Those players are family. White, Black, Latino, Italian, whatever, those players are family when they are on campus. They love and care about each other. It’s sad that we’re at the point we are with this virus, but the only way we can defeat it is together. We’ve got to do it together; we can’t do it separately.

“To be honest with you, I think that’s the best place for the team to be right now, to be together. Together they can fight almost anything.”

Likewise, Walker believes the return of pro sports is a good thing. Major League Baseball finally agreed to a shortened, 60-game season. The PGA Tour and NASCAR returned to competition last month without fans in attendance. The NFL still has not made a decision.

“I think getting sports going again is a great thing overall, a wonderful thing,” Walker said. “They just need to stay out of politics. I think they just need to let the game be the game. Sports getting into politics is a distraction. Players just need to play and people need to have some type of freedom, they need to have something they can just watch and not worry about the politics.

“Just let basketball be basketball, football be football. Don’t make it political.”