UGA football roster: Travon Walker is a rising superstar defensive lineman

Travon Walker was one of two winners of UGA football’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year Award at the post-season awards gala.

The 2019 UGA football recruiting class will go down as one of the best defensive classes in school history. Five players from the class are already among the best in the SEC, and two more have flashed massive potential.

One of those newly established stars is defensive lineman Travon Walker from Thomaston. 247Sports Composite rated him as a five-star prospect and ranked him No. 22 overall in the nation. The early success for him was no surprise, but his impact in key moments was a pleasant surprise.

His fourth-quarter, fourth-down sack of Auburn quarterback Bo Nix slammed the door shut on the Tigers’ comeback. He added a sack and a fumble recovery in the Sugar Bowl and he batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage against Florida. Walker’s consistency and elevated play in big moments led to a Freshman All-SEC selection.

Keep in mind, Georgia had a very deep defensive line last season with established, consistent players at each position. That makes Walker’s freshman campaign even more impressive. Among players like Tyler Clark, Jordan Davis and Malik Herring, Walker found ways to stand out and earn meaningful playing time.

At 6-5 and around 300 lbs., Walker is one of the most intimidating defensive linemen in the nation. He’s a lot more athletic than his frame suggests, no doubt thanks to his time as a star basketball player in high school. Walker is quick and powerful and he uses his hands very well. He puts those three traits to use in shedding blockers and making tackles.

Next: 10 greatest quarterbacks in UGA football history

One day, maybe in the near-future, Walker is going to land on the All-American lists. He is a total package on the defensive line, but he’s also very coachable. Walker arrived in Athens with just raw talent, now he’s one of the more skilled defensive players on the roster. He’ll battle for a starting role and will likely start a few games this season.