PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – This week’s Scholar Athlete of the Week sponsored by Perry and Young P.A. is Rutherford’s Jonathan Walker.
Walker has been the Rams top kicker and punter for the past two seasons and this one as well. He was even named to the All-County First Team as a kicker in 2020.
However, Walker does all that while maintaining an impressive 4.85 GPA.
“His primary is his academics, football is just a secondary but he happens to be very good at that too. We’re very supportive of that, we’re very proud of him cause we know he’s gonna accomplish a lot in his life. Probably a lot more with his head than his foot, but at the same time he’s got a pretty good foot,” Rams head football coach Loren Tillman said.
Walker has not only impressed on the field, but has gained national attention for his work in the classroom too.
He’s invented several devices like one that turns text into braille, a car filter that turns carbon emissions into oxygen and even won a national coding contest for a prescription drug management system.
“Seeing that there are so many problems in the world and just being blessed by God with the skill set to be able to solve them. I just wanted to use the skills I have and try and help and impact as many people as I can and that’s what drives me every day,” Walker said.
When it comes to football and academics, the Rams Student Government President said the two go hand in hand.
“One is my sanctuary for the other, so say I have a bad day kicking and I’m stressed, then I can go study and just do things I enjoy like physics and engineering but then if I’m stressed by my school work I can take out that stress on a football by kicking and so they work well in tandem,” Walker said.
Stanford, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, and Rice are just some of the colleges that Walker is looking at right now.
Coach Tillman thinks he could play football at any one of them.
“He has the talent to, it’s just his choice if he chooses to do that, but I’ve never had a kid play in the Ivy league and that would be kinda cool,” Tillman said.
While Walker isn’t sure if he will continue the sport in college, he is certain about his goals for the future.
“Coming out of college or even while in college, I want to have a startup that combines engineering, computer science and business to create applications and different devices to help people so that’s definitely the goal. I hope I can make a living off of that but also just help as many people as I can,” Walker said.