NFL linebacker Erik Walden returns to Dublin for 7th annual football camp

Erik Walden hosted his seventh annual football camp for the city of Dublin. He estimated 150 kids attended this year's camp./(Cam Gaskins, WGXA)

DUBLIN, Ga. -- Fifteen years after leading the Dublin Fighting Irish to a state championship appearance, linebacker Erik Walden has gone on to do big things on the football field. But he's never forgotten where he came from.

This morning, Walden hosted his seventh annual youth football camp at Oconee Gym in Dublin. He says the number of attendees has grown each year he's done the camp, and estimates there were 150 kids at today's event.

The camp included football drills, but also set aside a time for Walden to speak to the kids about getting good grades and handling their business off the football field to truly be successful in life. He says he's proud to come from this community, and he hopes his impact on Dublin keeps growing.

"Just thankful for the opportunity," Walden said. "And then at the same sense, just trying to do more though. This is just a scratch in the surface. You know I like to be hands on with everything I do. This is just the beginning, I'm going to continue to do more, add to it, and keep embracing this community like they embraced me."

After his time at Dublin high school, Walden went on to play for Middle Tennessee State University. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2008 NFL draft, and has spent the last 11 seasons playing in the league. He most recently played for the Tennessee Titans in 2017.

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