Tulane University football player Devon Walker is awake and recovering at an Oklahoma hospital after undergoing a three-hour surgery to treat a spinal fracture he suffered at a Saturday game.
Walker, a senior studying to be a pharmacist, was injured in collision with another player during Saturday's game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
Medical personnel from both teams rushed to treat Walker on the field immediately after the accident. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla. where he underwent a three hour surgery to stabilize his spine on Sunday afternoon .
He is in stable condition and is communicating with doctors and his family, according to Tulane's director of sports medicine Dr. Greg Stewart told ABC News on Sunday.
"I think everyone thinks that the surgery was very successful and it did what it was supposed to do," said Stewart, who was briefed by Walker's medical team at the hospital. "Right now he's certainly stable and we're waiting for this next couple of days to go by so we can see how he's going."
University President Scott Cowen called on the Tulane community to support Walker, who he said "epitomizes the best of college athletics and scholarship."
"The entire Tulane community is devastated by his injury," Cowen said in a message to the Tulane community today. Cowen said that Walker, a New Orleans native, walked on to the football team and overcame "great odds and adversity to earn a starting position and a scholarship."
"Given his character, we are confident Devon will face his recovery with the determination and courage that define him as a person," Cowen said. "And we will be by his side to fully support him in his journey."
Walker, a cell and molecular biology major at Tulane, was injured when he tackled an opposing player at the 17-yard-line along with defensive tackle Julius Warmsley; the pair apparently sandwiched the opposing player who had the ball, smashing their helmets together.