Back Tracy Walker Doing It His Way

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Tracy Walker Doing It His Way

By BJ Bennett
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Louisiana safety Tracy Walker did it all for the Ragin' Cajuns, serving as a leader in more ways than one.

I had to come a long way to get to where I am. I enjoy the grind, I embrace the grind and how to work.
~Tracy Walker

Louisiana safety Tracy Walker did it all for the Ragin' Cajuns, serving as a leader in more ways than one. This past summer, Walker represented Louisiana at Sun Belt Media Day in New Orleans; this past fall, he led the team with 97 tackles and two interceptions. Some of Walker's talents were recently on display at the NFL Combine. Fresh off a 4.51 40-yard dash and 11.27 60-yard shuttle, the 6'2'', 200-pound talent, and likely soon-to-be draft pick, is just getting started.

Regardless of where Walker lined up at Louisiana, he was all over the field. Walker finished his tenure with 275 total tackles, ranking in the top 25 in Sun Belt Conference all-time, adding eight interceptions and 18 pass deflections, slotting, there, in the top five ever in the league. Walker started 42 games during an all-conference career with the Ragin' Cajuns, measuring himself as others graded him. 

For all that Walker has done, his upside is even more appealing. Walker, the football player, is still developing as he was a basketball player first. A member of the National Honor Society, he only played two years of high school football, taking the advice of then-Brunswick High head coach Victor Floyd in taking up a game that will soon become a career. With a story that is still being written, the rest, dating back to Walker deciding to join the team, is now history.

"He basically told me he could help me get into a Division I institution in two years if I really wanted to go to school. I definitely wanted to go to school and play athletics, so I decided to play football and I ended up getting a grasp of it, becoming really good at it, enjoying it and falling in love with it," Walker recalled. 

Walker's natural athleticism and mindful persistence resulted in a seamless transition. As a prep senior, he compiled 67 stops, seven tackles for loss and five interceptions, receiving both all-area and all-region recognition. A prototypical combination of size and speed, all with a wingspan of 6'10'', resulted in Walker becoming a three-star recruit. He chose Louisiana over Navy and others.

On a run towards the NFL, Walker will be following in the footsteps of friends. Remarkably, he is set to become the third former Brunswick High defensive back in the league, soon to join Super Bowl LI champion Justin Coleman and Pro Bowler Darius Slay, last season's interception co-leader. Coleman, now with the Seattle Seahawks, has become a professional mainstay after going undrafted out of Tennessee in 2015, while Slay was a second round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2013.  

While some colleges debate who is DBU, Brunswick may be DBHS.

"Justin and I went to high school together, so we have a good relationship, and Darius and I always communicate, he always keeps up with me," Walked shared. "It's definitely good to talk to those guys and stay in touch with them."

Like Slay and Coleman before him, Walker made the most of his NFL Combine experience. Walker finished as a Top Performer in four separate categories: 20-yard shuttle, 40-yard dash, 60-yard shuttle and 3-cone drill. Scouts were impressed with his competitiveness and length. Approximately 20-25 teams sat down with Walker for interviews in Indianapolis.  

Walker's focus, since the end of the season, has been on fine-tuning his skills.

"I had three months of training, trying to stay focused and committed to my goals," Walker detailed. "I just wanted to go out there and perform the best that I possibly could and showcase my talent."

What led Walker into the pre-draft process was the momentum of a dynamic college career, one where productivity met responsibility head on. As a senior, Walker set the tone for Louisiana by setting an example.

"I had to step my game up even more because my team relied on me even more. I was a team leader," he continued. "I had to handle everything as far as when it came to the media. When we lost, I had to step up and take the fall and when we won I had to express how we did it. It was a great growing experience and allowed me to mature."

Ahead of his upcoming pro day on April 5th, Walker is taking everything in while taking nothing for granted. Though his football timeline may be shorter than most of his peers', the pace, for Walker, has been full-go; not a sprint to the finish, instead a sprint to the start of all that approaches and awaits. Walker has very real momentum as evaluations hit the home stretch. 

For all that the numbers show, there is much more to Walker than just traits that can be measured or timed.

"How hard working I am," he added. "I had to come a long way to get to where I am. I enjoy the grind, I embrace the grind and how to work. From high school to college, it was always a grind for me and I always had to step my game up no matter who I was competing against or where I was, so I just love to try and get better each and every day."

At his best when out in front, Walker moves forward on a mission.

"It's definitely a great honor to represent my city, to have another player in the NFL and to continue to put my city on the map," Walker beamed. "I'm just blessed and just enjoying the moment."

Walker, in some ways, is the next-level prototype. In other ways, he is completely unique. Not long ago not part of Walker's future, a recent dream of playing pro football will some become a reality. Every step along the way has been deliberate and determined. The chance to play in the NFL may not have always been anticipated, but it has, without question, been earned. 

When Walker, grateful for where he is, looks ahead, he doesn't forget to glance back. 

"I wouldn't have made it this far without my family and friends and my support system as well as the man upstairs," Walker concluded.

Stunning given all that he has already accomplished, Walker is just now hitting his stride.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports