Devontez Walker is an excellent wide receiver for the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Walker made his season debut for the Tar Heels last week versus Syracuse, with that start being delayed after a long eligibility fight with the NCAA.
Walker caught three of Drake Maye’s four touchdown passes in his second game, and UNC took over after halftime to beat No. 25 Miami 41-31 on Saturday night, extending the program’s best start in 26 years.
Walker finished with 132 yards on his six catches in his first start for the Tar Heels (6-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)
“I went out there; whenever coach called my number, I did what they needed me to do,” Walker said.
The Kent State transfer didn’t play the first four games when the NCAA wouldn’t grant a waiver for immediate eligibility, citing stricter restrictions on athletes regarded as two-time transfers, before unexpectedly reversing itself last week.
“I can do other things than just catch the ball; I am a natural ball carrier who likes the ball in their hands,” Walker added. “It felt good to incorporate some plays where I can showcase that.”
Walker had six catches for 43 yards in a last-minute rush of preparation to get on the field last week against Syracuse. Hosting Miami, he had a whole week of practice to integrate into the offense fully, then showed his ability as a game-breaking downfield threat for the Tar Heels’ star passer.
The Tar Heels are off to their best start since winning the first eight games in 1997, the final year of Brown’s first coaching tenure at UNC before leaving for Texas.
Hurricanes have lost two in a row and cannot bounce back after a heartbreaking late play-calling mistake that Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal took the blame for giving up the last-second touchdown against Georgia Tech.
“We have to be better,” Hurricanes QB Tyler Van Dyke said. “Too many critical situation turnovers, making mistakes, we must fix all that stuff.”
Van Dyke threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns for the Hurricanes (4-2, 0-2), with two of those scores going to Xavier Restrepo. Jacolby George and Brashard Smith also had TD catches for Miami.
Hurricanes committed four turnovers in the game, zero for the Tar Heels.
Miami: The Hurricanes host Clemson next Saturday.
UNC: The Tar Heels wrap up a three-game league homestand against Virginia next Saturday.