Devontez “Tez” Walker, a junior wide receiver for the North Carolina Tar Heels, was ruled ineligible for participation in the 2023 season by the NCAA today. The original ruling came back in June, but Walker and the UNC program pushed hard for an appeal of the decision.
The topsy-turny story goes back to Walkerʻs senior year at West Charlotte High School. The then Eastern Tennessee State commit suffered a knee injury and had his offer pulled away by the Bucs, leaving Tez looking for other options. Eventually, he settled on a different FCS program, North Carolina Central, after taking a gap year.
The unfortunate circumstances would not end there for Devontez Walker, as NC Central canceled the fall 2020 season. Without playing a snap of college football, Walker was off to his third program, Kent State. There, Tez finally got his shot, and played well for the Golden Flashes, tallying 1,045 yards on 63 catches and 12 touchdowns over two years.
Following an all-conference selection in 2022, Devontez Walker decided to re-enter the transfer portal. At the time of his decision to enroll at North Carolina, the NCAA still allowed immediate eligibility to athletes transferring schools. Just two days following, a new ruling was issued by the NCAA declaring immediate eligibility would not be granted to second-time transfers. Despite committing before the decision, Tez was not allowed to play in 2023 for his junior season.
After significant pushback from UNC and head coach Mack Brown, an appeal was sent in to get Walker on the field. The appeal ended up being unsuccessful with today’s final ruling, and coach Brown let them hear it.
It is yet another unfortunate event in the still young collegiate career of Devontez Walker.
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