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Walker spends pre-draft weekend giving back

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
April 15, 2001
Saturday was a day not only for fun and games, but one for homecomings as well and Meridian native and former Florida football star Kenyatta Walker did just that and then some, hosting a day of fun, food and festivities at a place he will always feel at home at, the Boys and Girls Club of Lauderdale County.
This weekend also marked a calm before the storm of sorts for Walker, as life as he knows it surely won't be the same after next Saturday when Walker could very well be taken in the top 10 in the NFL draft which will be held in New York.
Due to a slight drizzle, the scheduled outdoor activities had to be moved inside to the gym, where Walker, and former Meridian High classmates Jason Franklin and Joni Crenshaw took turns in leading the throng of kids in all sorts of games.
Walker said he didn't have a preference of any certain NFL team but whichever team picks him, he will be ready to give it his all.
Walker reflected fondly on some of his best memories of the Boys and Girls Club.
Hood said having Walker in for the carnival was a special treat, not only for the children, but the club staff and family as well.
It's no secret the percentage of athletes that actually make it to the professional ranks is very a very minute number, so the fact that Meridian could possibly produce three in one NFL draft is nothing short of spectacular, a point that was certainly not lost on Walker.
Smith was unable to attend, but Franklin was also on hand to share his thoughts on the importance of the week ahead.
Franklin talked about his upside of having played both quarterback and receiver in college and the fact that many scouts list him as an athlete.
Franklin said he has received a lot of positive interest from the New Orleans Saints, a prospect that seems to be the best case scenario in his mind.
Franklin also added that he has received a lot of positive feedback from the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, as well. "God willing, I'll be able to get on with a team and make an impact and realize my dream."
Richard Dark is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. Email him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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