Metairie, LA, United States (4E Sports) – The New Orleans Saints signed former Tulane safety Devon Walker, who is paralyzed from the neck down, to an official one-day contract Saturday.
Walker, who is bound to a wheelchair and uses a ventilator to help him breathe, was paralyzed after a collision with a teammate during a 2012 football game against Tulsa.
“Just to be a part of this team, just to be around the players is more than I could have hoped,” said Walker, a native of nearby Destrehan, Louisiana.
It was just hours before Walker realized another dream by graduating from college, earning a degree in cell and molecular biology.
“Devon’s character, determination, intelligence and work ethic are everything that we look for in a New Orleans Saint when we sign a player,” said Saints coach Sean Payton. “This is the least we can do to recognize Devon and these attributes that we want all of our players to have.”
Former Saints receiver coach Curtis Johnson who took over as Tulane head coach in 2011 said Walker was a big part of Tulane’s success last year, when the team made its first bowl appearance in more than a decade.
“I didn’t have to do any pregame speeches at home because he did them all,” Johnson said. “And he policed the locker room.”
In 2013, Walker received the Disney Spirit Award, an honor given annually by Disney Sports to college football’s most inspirational figure.