Darius Walker was a High School phenom and one of the most celebrated running backs ever recruited to South Bend. At Buford High School just outside of Atlanta, he rushed for 5,676 yards and 91 touchdowns and led his team to a four-year record of 58-2, four state title game appearances and three state championships. After his senior season he was selected as the Georgia Prep Player of the Year.
5-10, 210 pounds, Walker was recruited by Tyrone Willingham and had an immediate impact on the 2004 Irish. His first playing time came in the second game of the season against Michigan and he led the Irish to an upset win over the Wolverines with 115 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Splitting time with last week’s all time Irish hero Ryan Grant, Walker went on to play in 11 games, run for 7 touchdowns and led the Irish in rushing with 786 yards, a freshman school record. Charlie Weis came to town the next year and Walker rounded out his game by also becoming an excellent pass receiver, and that led to Walker having two monster years.
1196 yards rushing and 351 yards receiving with 11 total TDs in 2005, and an encore in 2006 with 1267 yards rushing, 391 through the air and 8 more TDs. His last game was the 2006 Sugar Bowl against LSU. Walker was a bright spot for the Irish that day combining for 159 rushing and receiving yards.
Walker made the decision to go pro after his junior year but left Notre Dame having accomplished the rare feat of leading the school in rushing three straight years. Had he stayed he may well have owned much of the ND record book, as it is he stands at 4th on the career rushing list.
His pro career was a short one, but in 2009 he returned to South Bend, completed his coursework and received his Notre Dame degree.
For an outstanding career as a workhorse running back, both running and catching the football from 2004-2006, Darius Walker is an: All-Time Irish Hero.