Former West Virginia University and NFL defensive back Fulton Walker has passed away at the age of 58 after going into cardiac arrest while working on his farm, per MetroNews.
Walker was a captain at West Virginia before joining the professional ranks as the 154th pick in the 1981 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. With the Mountaineers, he made 194 career tackles and recorded five interceptions as a cornerback. He switched to running back his sophomore season and rushed for 392 yards and two touchdowns. He also posted the second longest punt return in school history with an 88-yard score in 1977.
His claim to NFL fame happened in Super Bowl XVII when Walker returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, marking the first kickoff return touchdown in Super Bowl history. His 190 kickoff return yards in that game and 93 kickoff return yards in Super Bowl XIX gave him a total of 283, making him the record-holder for career Super Bowl kickoff return yards, a mark that still stands today.
In 1985, he recorded 692 punt returns yards, which was a NFL record until Desmond Howard put up 870 in 1996. Walker also recorded five interceptions in his NFL career. He had an interest in baseball as well and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates before choosing against a professional baseball career.
The West Virginia Sports Writers Association gives out the Fulton Walker Award each year to the state’s top high school special teams player. After retiring from the NFL, he coached baseball and football at his former school, Martinsburg High School. He was also involved in helping other NFL players prepare for their life after retirement.