Part of the mythology surrounding Herschel Walker’s Georgia career has been that Vince Dooley wasn’t sold on his ability during his fall practice as a freshman. We’ve been assured that’s why he wasn’t inserted into the starting lineup for the opener at Tennessee.
… Down 15-0 in Knoxville at the half, Dooley’s bring-Herschel-along-slowly plan was out the window. Georgia and Dooley needed to win – fans are an unsympathetic bunch when you are coming off a 5-6 season.
“That’s when (offensive coordinator) George Haffner told me to tell Coach Dooley that we were going to play Herschel,” Cavan said. “I am just thankful we were down 15-0, because Coach Dooley at that time said: ‘I don’t care… do what you have to do.’”
Dooley’s plan was abruptly out of the way, but Cavan had been trying to convince Dooley of Walker’s importance weeks before the trip to Knoxville.
“I remember sitting in the staff room two weeks before the game saying: ‘I really think we are going to have to play Herschel.’
Dooley knew Walker’s talents were hard to deny, according to Cavan, but he wasn’t ready to put Walker in the starting spotlight just yet.
“I remember that Coach Dooley said: ‘I agree, but we are not going to start him. We are going to see how the game goes,’” Cavan recalled.
So much for that “I’m afraid Herschel is just a big, stiff back” stuff.