North Carolina WR Tez Walker briefly hospitalized after vicious hit in loss to Georgia Tech

North Carolina wide receiver Devontez Walker (9) fumbles as he is hit by Georgia Tech defensive back Ahmari Harvey (18) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bzemore)
North Carolina wide receiver Tez Walker was briefly hospitalized after this big hit by Ahmari Harvey. (AP Photo/John Bzemore)

North Carolina wide receiver Tez Walker was taken to an Atlanta-area hospital Saturday night after he took a massive hit late in the Tar Heels’ loss to Georgia Tech.

Walker didn’t see the hit coming after he made a catch in Georgia Tech territory as UNC was attempting to overcome a 46-42 deficit. The hit from Ahmari Harvey jarred the ball loose from Walker’s grasp and Georgia Tech recovered the fumble to clinch the game.

Walker was down on the field for a few minutes after the collision and was in clear pain as he was helped off the field by two trainers. Sunday morning, North Carolina announced that Walker was “doing better” and had been released from the hospital before heading back to Chapel Hill.

Saturday night’s loss was the second straight for No. 17 North Carolina and eliminated any chance the Tar Heels had of making the College Football Playoff. UNC lost to Virginia at home in Week 8 as the Cavaliers got a road win over a top-10 team for the first time ever.

Walker is already UNC’s second-leading receiver with 26 catches for 397 yards and four touchdowns despite missing the first four games of the season. The Kent State transfer was at the center of a nasty back-and-forth between the NCAA and North Carolina after the NCAA had said that Walker was ineligible to play in 2023 because he had transferred for a second time.

After sustaining a knee injury in high school, Walker initially enrolled at NC Central. But the FCS school canceled its football season because of the COVID-19 pandemic and Walker went to Kent State.

He had 58 catches for 921 yards and 11 scores in 2022 and transferred to be closer to his family in North Carolina after Kent State coach Sean Lewis left to become Colorado’s offensive coordinator.

The NCAA initially ruled that Walker’s transfer to UNC was a second transfer and he’d have to sit out a season before resuming his college career. On Oct. 5, the NCAA said Walker was eligible after it “received new information” regarding Walker’s status.