Atlanta Falcons’ rookie linebacker Mykal Walker player followed in his Father’s footsteps and played college ball at Fresno State. Unfortunately, Mykal’s father, Michale James Walker, didn’t get the chance to see his young prodigy graduate high school and head off to Fresno.
Mykal’s dad lost his fight to colon cancer when Mykal was just a freshman in high school. This Father’s Day, Mykal shared a heartwarming tribute honoring his late father and the message he left behind that has kept Mykal going.
Also, follow the Heavy on Falcons Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
16 years ago you introduced me to the game of football. At the time I didn’t actually want to play, but following in your footsteps meant the world to me.
I remember my first day of hitting drills, being the smallest kid on the field. I was scared to death but every time I was up next I would look over to the parents’ section and see your smile. You would always give me a thumbs up and whisper ‘Mike you got this.’
I remember being knocked over at least 100 times, but after every practice, you would always pick me up, carry me to the car, and tell me how proud you are to see me keep getting back up.
You taught me it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you continue to get back up.
I wonder if you remember always telling me, ‘Myk you’re special on that field, and I’m not just saying that because I’m your dad.’
When I lost your freshman year, I was lost but something that I’ve held onto was our saying before every game, ‘Don’t be average.’
No one else understands how proud it makes me to be able to say ‘I followed in my dad’s footsteps.’ You set the foundation for me and have been with me every step of the way.
I love you and miss you, dad.
Falcons Add More Fire to Defense
Atlanta really needed to fill De’Vondre Campbell’s void and they did that by adding Walker. The two aren’t far off of each other when it comes to their play.
Walker first began his collegiate career at Azusa Pacific. He was an all-conference performer in his second year posting 102 tackles, 11.5 for loss, and three sacks.
The Vacaville, California, native transferred to Fresno State in 2017 where he redshirted. It didn’t take long to step up as a Bulldog. When he did, he tallied 87 tackles, a team-high with 14 resulting in losses, 4.5 sacks, an interception, six pass breakups, two blocked kicks, and two forced fumbles in 14 starts.
Last season, Walk was a first-team all-conference again after recording 96 stops, a team-high nine for loss, 2.5 sacks, and four pass breakups in 12 starts.
Walker Has the Versatility Falcons Need
The Falcons were looking for versatility players heading into the draft and they found that in almost every pick.
In Walker’s case, he can be can excel at both middle linebacker or strong-side linebacker. Although, Walker said he’s not sure where the Falcons where use him but says he will play anywhere they want him to.
Walker should be an immediate starter with little competition on the depth chart.
Happy Father’s Day, dads!