Saturday, May 17, is a day that Devon Walker will never forget.
Not only did he graduate from Tulane University, where he studied cell and molecular biology, he was also presented with a contract from the New Orleans Saints, making him an official Saint.
While attending Tulane, Walker played safety for their football team. However, on September 8, 2012, Walker suffered a devastating injury after colliding with a fellow teammate. After being taken to the hospital, it was revealed that Walker had a spinal injury that would leave him paralyzed from the neck down.
“When Devon got hurt, his football career was just starting to take off after three years of hard work,” New Orleans Saints' Coach Sean Payton said, during a press conference after Saturday's Rookie Camp practice. "Despite the devastating injury he suffered, Devon refuses to let that define him. He is an outstanding young man, who is not only an inspiration to his coaches and teammates at Tulane, but to all of us."
"Devon’s character, determination, intelligence and work ethic are everything that we look for in a New Orleans Saint when we sign a player," Peyton continued. "This is the least we can do to recognize Devon and these attributes that we want all of our players to have.”
— Ryan Griffin (@Griffin_11) May 17, 2014
Walker's coach at Tulane Curtis Johnson had nothing but good things to say about him as well, and credited him for helping the team make its first recent bowl appearance last year.
"I didn't have to do any pregame speeches at home because he did them all," Johnson said. "And he policed the locker room. He policed those guys. He was around all the time. This kid deserves it all. He's very inspirational. Man, I love the kid."
Walker said that becoming a Saint was a dream come true. "To me, this is almost like one of my dreams come true," Walker said. "I've been a Saint since before I was walking. Just to be a part of this team, just to be around the players is more than I could have hoped."
Image via Twitter