New Orleans Saints Inspire: Paralyzed Player Signed to Team

SaintsThe New Orleans Saints have officially proven that they are …. well, saints. This inspirational story is sure to brighten your day and affirm your faith in the virtue of professional sports. 

Devon Walker, the former Tulane University safety paralyzed during a game in 2012, was signed by the team to an honorary contract Saturday. Devon is now officially a New Orleans Saint, realizing his life-long dream of being on an NFL team roster. It’s so refreshing to see a feel good story in sports like this one!

Here is an excerpt of what ESPN.com reported on the signing:

The New Orleans Saints surprised Walker by signing him to an official contract Saturday — just hours before Walker realized another dream by graduating from college. Devon Walker called the contract the Saints signed  him to Saturday “almost like one of my dreams come true.”

“To me, this is almost like one of my dreams come true,” said Walker, a native of nearby Destrehan, Louisiana. “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.”

The Saints have developed a close bond with the New Orleans-based Tulane football program in recent years, since former Saints receiver coach Curtis Johnson took over as the Green Wave head coach in 2011. The team already had adopted Walker as part of its family; it just made it official on Saturday during a break between rookie minicamp practices.

“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,” said Saints coach Sean Payton, who raved about the leadership and inspiration Walker continued to provide his team following the injury. “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.”

Johnson, who was on hand for the announcement Saturday, 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. He policed those guys. He was around all the time.

“This kid deserves it all. He’s very inspirational. Man, I love the kid.”

It’s clear that Devon’s love of football goes far beyond physically playing the game. The fact that he remained so committed to his passion for football and his teammates, even after being faced with such adversity, is nothing short of extraordinary. Way to go, Devon!

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