CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — Receiver Tez Walker made his UNC-Chapel Hill debut two days after he was cleared to play by the NCAA following a long transfer-eligibility case, but the Tar Heels had plenty of offense even with his minimal contributions.
UNC blasted Syracuse 40-7 — the Tar Heels dominating with 39 of the game’s first 48 plays.
“Everybody’s so excited, we love him so much even though he just transferred in, but we know he’s part of the family,” said Julie Hulin, a UNC fan and graduate, talking about Walker’s first game.
Walker’s first catch came on a 6-yard play on UNC’s second possession, shortly after he was on the field for his first snap.
“It’s a blessing to be out there,” Walker said.
The former Kent State player finished with six receptions for 43 yards. The six catches were second on the team among the 11 Tar Heels who caught passes in the game.
“With the whole Tez coming back, and then you know it’s a big game. Syracuse is a great team, they were great last year especially. Kind of having this game as the one he’s coming back for and having him come out and perform is awesome,” said Mason Wood, a UNC senior.
Other players were also glad to see Walker on the field.
“Kind of wanted to get him the groove,” said UNC Quarterback Drake Maye. “Glad to see him out there. What a great story.”
Walker had to make a late-week transition from the scout team.
“The young man is living his dream,” UNC head coach Mack Brown said.