Tulane safety Devon Walker received CPR on the field during the Green Wave's game against Tulsa on Saturday afternoon after sustaining an apparent head and/or neck injury just before halftime. Walker was attempting to make a play on a Tulsa player, but inadvertently collided with his own teammate instead. He at one point stopped breathing, but it was confirmed that he was both breathing and responsive by the time he was loaded into the ambulance.
Walker, a former walk-on senior from New Orleans, La., appeared in 30 games for the Green Wave in his first three seasons, providing depth in the secondary and playing on special teams. He totaled 47 tackles, four pass breakups and one forced fumble entering the 2012 season.
Walker impressed the coaching staff this summer by attending the team's 6:00 a.m. workouts before summer school classes, they told John Reid of The Times Picayune. Walker paid for the summer school classes out of his own pocket.
“He wasn’t getting his summer school paid for, but he would show up with the rest of the team and do the summer conditioning even though the scholarship athletes were getting their room and board paid,’’ Tulane secondary coach Jason Rollins said.
The coaches rewarded Walker's hard work and contributions to the team by giving him a scholarship for his senior season, just the third walk-on scholarship Tulane coach Bob Toledo has handed out in his four years as Green Wave coach, he told The Times Picayune.
“I think it’s great, I always try to do it at the first meeting (before preseason camp), and the kids get all excited when they know a guy deserves it,’’ Toledo said. “It proves to these other freshmen or walk-ons that if they work hard, they may have a chance down the road to earn a scholarship and maybe we’ll get more walk-ons.’’
Walker spent the summer in a competition for the starting safety job with Shakiel Smith. The coaching staff was considering him because of his knack for recognizing formations quickly, according to Rollins within the same Times Picayune article.
Walker started the first game of the season and totaled nine tackles, including seven unassisted and one tackle for loss.
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