Football was not Erik Walden’s best sport growing up


Indianapolis Colts linebacker Erik Walden will be entering his second year with the Colts in 2014. He is on his forth team in seven seasons.

Last season he combined for 45 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. With the addition of D’Qwell Jackson in the offseason, Walden might find himself as a rotation player come fall.

Walden recently sat down with Craig Kelley of and talked about growing up, and his path to football. And believe it or not, football was not his best sport growing up.

“Baseball was mine.  I liked it because of my dad, Gerald, who actually had a couple of tryouts with the Florida Marlins.  That’s the sport I first started playing.  My dad was a football player at first, but he had a bad shoulder injury.  In high school, he was run over by Hershel Walker.  He tried an open-field tackle on him and Hershel ran straight through him.  He needed pins to hold his shoulder together, and that ended his football career.  He was very good at softball, too, and I would go with him for traveling tournaments around Georgia from what I remember about him.  When I played, it was first base, centerfield, pitcher.  The first time I ever got cut from something was in seventh grade from the baseball team.  I went home and cried.  I played eighth and ninth grade, then kind of lost passion for it.  I stuck with track after that.  I ran the 4×100, 4×400 and did the long jump.  I played football and basketball, too.”

Believe it or not, many NFL players grew up excelling in another sport. only to find their groove in football down the road. Luckily for Colts fans, Walden put down the bat, and picked up a helmet.

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