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As paralyzed ex-Tulane player Devon Walker graduates, he also gets a Saints contract

New Orleans coach Sean Payton says the Saints are signing paralyzed former Tulane player Devon Walker to a free-agent contract.

Payton, who met with Walker at the Saints' practice fields during rookie camp Saturday, says Walker has "been an inspiration" to his community, his university and to the Saints.

Walker was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle at Tulsa in 2012. Now operating a motorized wheelchair with his mouth, Walker nonetheless managed to graduate on Saturday with a degree in cell and molecular biology.

In between graduation festivities, Tulane coach Curtis Johnson brought Walker, along with family and friends, to Saints headquarters to receive the honorary contract.

Walker remained part of Tulane's football team last season, even giving speeches before home games.