Kody Walker Granted Medical Hardship
FAYETTEVILLE ( U of A Athletics)- The University of Arkansas has been informed by the NCAA and Southeastern Conference that Razorback running back Kody Walker has been granted a sixth year of eligibility based on medical hardship.
Walker will be re-classified as a junior for athletic competition. His clock has been extended and he is now eligible to compete in both the 2015 and 2016 football seasons.
“We are very excited to have Kody with us for an additional season,” said head coach Bret Bielema. “Adversity has defined him throughout his career and he has championed the moment. Every person on our staff and every player in our locker room is pulling for Kody to succeed and we expect him to be a major contributor to our football team these next two years.”
Walker suffered season-ending injuries during the first two seasons of his career. In 2011, he played in the first three games and rushed for five touchdowns. He also played in the first two games of the 2012 campaign and scored a touchdown in the opener against Jacksonville State before his season was cut short.
“Man, I tell you those were definitely the tough times,” Walker said. “But, you know, a lot went through my head. I was contemplating leaving and stuff like that. But, I just kept pushing and had a great support system with my family and the people that were here. They just kept pushing me, and it ended up working out for itself.”
A native of Jefferson City, Mo., Walker had his most impressive year in 2014. Playing both running back and fullback, he gained 149 yards on 31 carries (4.8 avg.) and rushed for a touchdown. He has fully transitioned to running back this offseason and is expected to give the Razorbacks a third explosive option in the backfield.
“It’s amazing just to have that, get that blessing, you know a sixth year. I’ll be the old guy, but it’s amazing news. We’re going to play it one year at a time. I still got this year to go. There’s some good stuff to happen this year. So, we’ll see how it goes,” Walker said.