Former Tulane safety Devon Walker was paralyzed from the neck down in September 2012 after making a tackle against Tulsa. But almost two years later, the New Orleans Saints made his dream of making it to the NFL a reality.
The Saints surprised Walker by signing him to an official contract Saturday afternoon just hours after he graduated with a degree in cell and molecular biology,
New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 17, 2014
Despite suffering the devastating injury, Walker managed to earn his diploma just one year later than he originally anticipated. He was a constant source of inspiration for the Green Wave as he was a regular at Tulane practices and games, giving a pregame speech to the team before every home game.
“I’m proud to be up here with him, and I’m super proud of his recovery and the way he’s handled this and the way he’s approached this,” Saints coach Sean Payton said, via ESPN.com. “Obviously he’s been an inspiration to our region, to our community, New Orleans, the Tulane family, and it’s carried over to us on the Saints.”
To celebrate the big day, Walker attended Saints rookie mini-camp on Saturday, where he thought he would be treated to oysters afterward. Instead, the team surprised him by giving him one heck of a graduation gift as they signed him to a deal.
“I thought I was on my way to eat some oysters,” Walker said. “They tricked me.”