THOMASVILLE — Myron Guyton is one of the most revered athletes to come out of Thomas County. Family is the reason for his success.

“They wanted me to do and be more than they were,” said the Metcalfe native, who’s had numerous relatives play for the Yellow Jacket football program. “I had some history there to work from. I don’t think there was any pressure. I think there was more excitement because I wanted to do what they were doing.”

The youngest of nine children, Guyton has a Super Bowl ring, is a successful entrepreneur in north Georgia and is highly competitive in the NASCAR Legends series and drag racing.

He said none of his success could have happened without guidance from a large but close-knit family.

His brothers were role models on the football field.

“My brother, Leonard Guyton, he was playing when I was young,” said Guyton. “I used to go visit him at Central. My goal was, when I started playing football, I wanted to be No. 86. That was his number, 86. I never became (No.) 86; it was taken. But I wanted to be just like him.

“When I first started at the YMCA, my brother, Walter Guyton — I think I was 10 years old — he made sure I made it to the practices and picked me up. With the dedication of those guys, it was easy. My brother, Paul, he supported me financially and made sure I had the resources to do those things. I had the support from all my brothers.”

Guyton’s play in the secondary gave the Yellow Jackets a stout 1-2 punch at safety with Danny Copeland, another defensive back who went on to capture a Super Bowl ring with the Washington Redskins.

“It was fun,” said Copeland. Copeland’s Redskins captured a Super Bowl title in 1992, a year after Guyton’s Giants triumphed over the Buffalo Bills. “He was a better safety than I was. He definitely had everybody’s respect.”

“Myron was a tremendous hitter,” said Thomas County School Superintendent Dr. Larry Green, former Central head coach. “He had a feel for the ball and could get to it.”

While Guyton’s brothers laid a foundation for his successful football career, his guidance in school lay with his sisters.

“On the educational side, my sisters made sure, academically, that, ‘Hey, we’ve got to make sure you’re prepared to go on to college,’” said Guyton. “That’s one of the big things we talked about in my household.”

Guyton played football at Eastern Kentucky University before spending seven years in the NFL, five with the Giants and two with the New England Patriots.

Guyton’s career away from football has made him a successful businessman.

He owns seven Burger King franchises in the Atlanta area. Being around his brother, Walter, also propelled Guyton into the racing scene.

“I have been pretty heavily involved in racing on two different series,” said Guyton, “the legends series, which is NASCAR, and drag racing.”

Guyton said he races in Albany almost every weekend.

When asked what he gets a bigger rush from, drag racing or delivering a bone-jarring hit on an unknowing wide receiver, it’s really no contest.

“Drag racing,” said Guyton. “It’s got to be the biggest five-second-or-less thrill rush that I’ve ever had.

“So many things can happen in that five seconds. You’ve just got to make good decisions. That’s what I like about it. Your reflexes have got to be quick.”

Guyton’s reflexes were pretty good on the football field. He played 98 games in the NFL and intercepted 10 passes.

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