We think of recruiting as the craziest thing about college athletics today. In a time without the Internet, though, the best way to capture the hype over certain recruits was with three-minute chunks of local newscasts. Ergo, this wonderful bit of history, a 1980 report by a Georgia TV station on the recruitment of Herschel Walker.
Stars of this video include: Walker; Walker's Trans Am (purchased by his father, apparently); Walker's coach, Gary Phillips; Phillips' hair; then-Georgia coach Vince Dooley; then-Georgia Tech assistant Terry Tuley; and Walker teammate Brill Jenkins, who says of Walker, "He loves his homework." Some bits still remain in play: the Trans Am seems like a precursor to LeBron James' mother's Hummer, or the SUV Joe McKnight was tooling around in last fall, while the coaches at what appears to be Walker's basketball practice is a thing of the past.
But the most important revelation is clearly the one about homework, and Walker's cognizance of football as just part of his life. The reporter, Bill Hartman, takes Jenkins' words to Walker, who says "Football is just something you play to enjoy. And you can't really put your life or future on a football career, because your career in football -- for me, a running back -- is about seven years. Seven years of my life pass, and what is it I'ma do after that?" Walker was wise even then, but he underestimated his talents by half. After his brilliant three years at Georgia, he spent fourteen seasons in the USFL and NFL.
Of course, Walker's found some other things to do after football.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.