Steelers.com has conducted a series of interviews with players you may not be too familiar with, futures contracts signed to the offseason roster looking for their shot to make it in the NFL. DT Cavon Walker is one of those guys and he’s someone Steelers’ Nation will be rooting hard for this summer.
In his interview with Teresa Varley and the website, Walker explains why his family is his #1 motivator to succeed in the NFL.
“I have some guys around me who are my brothers who aren’t blood, and my family always pushes me to be better and good,” he said. “Everything I do is for my family and those guys I care about.”
Walker says he grew up in a rougher part of Washington, D.C., where there was plenty of temptation to go down the wrong road. But family – and football – kept him on track.
“My mom was a single mother of five who worked from 7 in the morning to 7 at night. Most of the day it was me and my brothers and sisters raising each other. But she did a great job when she came home, making sure we were good, had our homework done. I grew up around a lot of guys who were in the streets. I was the guy who stayed away from things because they said you have a shot.”
Walker stayed local and attended Maryland. Putting up modest production in school, finishing his senior year with 6 TFL and one sack, he went undrafted in 2018. Chicago scooped him up as a UDFA and he’s bounced around with Kansas City and the XFL’s New York Guardians before the league folded. At that time, Walker was leading the league in sacks, earning his futures deal with Pittsburgh.
He offered some insight into the chaos that was the end of the XFL, too.
“From Wednesday until Friday, things just stopped. We had our last practice on Thursday and on Friday were booking our flights to go home.”
The loss of an offseason is predictably difficult but familiarity is in Walker’s corner. He has professional experience from the NFL and XFL, unlike rookies he’s competing with, and has experienced what a football training camp is like (even if this one will look quite different). He’ll also have a friendly face in the locker room. Walker attended the same high school as 7th round pick Derwin Gray; Walker graduated a few years ahead, but Gray’s likely been able to offer some insight in what to expect in Pittsburgh.