This is the eighth in a series of features on the 2011 University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor inductees.
FAYETTEVILLE -One of the toughest defenders in Arkansas football history, Jimmy Walker was a two-time All-Southwest Conference performer at defensive tackle for the Razorbacks from 1975-78. He was known for the big play as he still ranks third on the Razorbacks’ all-time career tackles for loss list with 36.
Walker earned first-team All-America honors as a senior, recording a then-school-record 19 tackles for loss. As widely known as he is now in regards to his playing days in Fayetteville, Walker was an unknown commodity to the Razorbacks’ coaches when he arrived on campus.
"I signed one of the last scholarships for that year,” Walker said. “I’m willing to bet I was one of the only All-Americans to sign for a school without ever visiting it or meeting the head coach. I remember right when I got to Fayetteville, myself and 14 or so other freshmen were getting on the elevator. Coach Broyles, of course, walked up to get on and knew everyone else except for me.”
Walker made his presence well known. He led the Razorbacks in tackles for loss during his final two seasons, compiling 15 in 1977 and 19 in 1978.
“I played with sort of a chip on my shoulder,” Walker said. “I was out there to prove to everyone that I belonged.”
Walker commented on his induction, noting how appreciative he is of the honor.
"Being inducted is something that really lasts forever because it shows that the university appreciates what you did and remembers you,” Walker said. “It is truly a humbling experience.”
In the big defender’s time at Arkansas, the Razorbacks compiled an outstanding 35-10-2 (.770) record on the gridiron, including trips to the 1976 Cotton Bowl, 1978 Orange Bowl and 1978 Fiesta Bowl. Walker recovered a fumble in UA’s 31-6 victory over No. 2 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. He was named the most outstanding defensive player in the Fiesta Bowl after making 10 tackles.
After his senior season, Walker represented the Razorbacks at the 1979 Hula Bowl in Honolulu, playing alongside teammates Ron Calcagni and Ben Cowins. Former UA head coach Lou Holtz served as coach.
TACKLES FOR LOSS
23 Steven Conley (175 yards), 1995
23 Henry Ford (116 yards), 1993
20.5 Jamaal Anderson (113 yards), 2006
19 Jimmy Walker (125 yards), 1978
19 Billy Ray Smith Jr. (128 yards), 1981
18 Wayne Martin (110 yards), 1987
18 Dan Hampton (62 yards), 1978
17 Billy Ray Smith Jr. (86 yards), 1980
17 Ray Lee Johnson (89 yards), 1992
16 Junior Soli (53 yards), 1995
15 Jimmy Walker (87 yards), 1977
15 Caleb Miller (38 yards), 2003
15 Billy Ray Smith Jr. (85 yards), 1982
63 Billy Ray Smith Jr. (343 yards), 1979-82
46 Henry Ford (224 yards), 1990-93
37 Jimmy Walker (216 yards), 1975-78
37 Wayne Martin (189 yards), 1985-88
36 Malcolm Sheppard (124 yards), 2006-09
36 Caleb Miller (116 yards), 2000-03
36 Johnnie Meadors (157 yards), 1974-76
35 Steven Conley (251 yards), 1992-95
33 Jeb Huckeba (92 yards), 2001-04
32.5 Jamaal Anderson (172 yards), 2004-06
32 Marcus Adair (185 yards), 1993-95
32 Dan Hampton (143 yards), 1975-78