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Herschel Walker: I could still play in the NFL -- at age 52

In a wry twist of fate, Herschel Walker is best remembered by NFL fans as the losing end of football's most lopsided blockbuster trade that ultimately played a pivotal role in constructing the Dallas Cowboys' dynasty of the early 1990s.

There was a reason the Minnesota Vikings surrendered an unprecedented five players and six draft picks for Walker.

He was one of the most uniquely talented phenoms ever to grace the gridiron.

Now 52, the man who once upon a time routinely cranked out 3,000 situps, 2,000 pushups and 1,500 pullups on a daily basis told USA Today's Jarrett Bell that he could still suit up and hold his own at football's highest level.

"I can play in the NFL today," Walker insists. "I couldn't take every snap. But running backs nowadays don't play every down. Now they send in the choir section.

"Physically, I can still do it."

Chalking one up for Neil Young's contention that it's better to burn out than fade away, Bo Jackson is more revered than Walker in the American sports consciousness.

A physical specimen blessed with a dynamic blend of power and speed, Walker was the proto-Bo. Unlike Jackson, he was also a superior receiver out of the backfield and one of his generation's most dangerous kick returners.

While starring for Donald Trump's New Jersey Generals in the USFL, Walker set professional football's single-season rushing record with with 2,411 yards in 1985, averaging 5.50 yards per carry. His combined rushing numbers for the USFL and the NFL (13,787 yards) would place him fifth all-time on the NFL's career list.

That's not all. His 18,168 total combined net yards ranked second at the time of his retirement in 1997. He is the only player to gain at least 4,000 yards three different ways: rushing, receiving and via kickoff returns.

Walker is also widely viewed as the best college football running back of all time and one of the NCAA's greatest players.

Whereas Bo burst onto the baseball scene, Walker competed as a bobsledder in the 1992 Winter Olympics.

For good measure, he nearly made the U.S. Olympic track team in the sprint relay, won both of his MMA bouts in his late forties and has a fifth-degree black belt in taekwondo.

Who are we to say this athletic marvel with a grueling training regimen couldn't handle a handful of touches per game in 2014? He might not excel, but neither do dozens of NFL running backs buried at the bottom of depth charts.

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