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Despite injury, Walker to be part of Tulane season

Last Modified: Monday, July 22, 2013 9:49 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Devon Walker, the Tulane safety paralyzed when his spine was fractured in a game last September, will be part of Tulane's season this year.

The Times-Picayune reports that Tulane coach Curtis Johnson is still working out Walker's role for the coming season.

One possibility mentioned by Johnson: Walker may be put to work helping break down recruiting film.

Johnson says he is discussing the plans with Tulane players and working on plans to use Walker in a way that will fit in with his extensive therapy and rehab work.

Johnson said Walker's drive and dedication to football were assets to his teammates well before the Sept. 8, 2012 game at Tulsa in which he was injured.

"He's always been an inspiration even before the injury," Johnson said. "He's inspiring to us and we just love being a part of his life. He's just one of us."

"It's great for the program," senior running back Orleans Darkwa said. "He is someone we really care about, especially me. We let all the new players know what happened and how they can help this team and how they can help this program with him."

Ryan Grant, a senior receiver, said Walker's injury deeply affected the team.

"I was on the sideline, it was going into halftime. I see a guy running with the ball, Julius (Warmsley) tackled him and then Devon jumped on made contact and I just remember Devon's body flopping over like he couldn't feel his arms and legs," Grant said. "Everyone was praying as they were walking into the locker room and the ambulance truck came onto the field. It was sad, but you just have to take the positives out of everything. He's still alive."

Darkwa said working with Walker would be good for the team.

"He's a big part of this program and he will always be," Darkwa said. "When I'm gone, he's still going to be a big part of my life and to the other teams that are here. We expect him to be a big part of this program."

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