Derel Walker (born June 29, 1991) is a Canadian football wide receiver for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was named a CFL All-Star in 2015 and 2016 and received the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie Award in 2015. He previously attended Texas A&M University where he played college football for the Aggies.
|No. 87 Toronto Argonauts|
Walker before his first game with the Argonauts in 2019.
|Born:||June 29, 1991|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||188 lb (85 kg)|
|High school||Hillsboro (TX)|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers*|
|*Off-season and/or practice roster only.|
|Career highlights and awards|
|CFL All-Star||2015, 2016|
|CFL West All-Star||2015, 2016, 2018|
Walker played high school football as well as baseball and track and field at Hillsboro High School. He also participated in power-lifting. He was named an honorable mention to the 2008 Super Centex team and a member of the 2009 All-Centex team by the Waco Tribune-Herald. From 2010 to 2011, he played junior college football at the local Trinity Valley Community College. During his two seasons at Trinity Valley, he made 44 catches for 864 yards and 10 touchdowns while helping to lead his team to the second round of playoffs in 2011.
Walker committed to transfer to Texas A&M in early 2012 to play for the Aggies. In a fall scrimmage, Walker caught two touchdown passes of 20 and 35 yards. He played a minor role in the regular season, playing in 12 games but catching only eight passes for 85 yards and no touchdowns. Walker was more active in his final year with the Aggies in 2013. He played large roles against Arkansas when he caught seven passes for 81 yards and against Vanderbilt when he caught his first two touchdown passes at Texas A&M. Walker was third on the team in catches with 45 receptions and second on the team with 705 receiving yards in the regular season. In the post-season, Walker made an impact at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where he made six catches for 113 yards including a 44-yard touchdown. He finished his career at Texas A&M with finishing with 59 receptions for 903 yards and five touchdowns. Walker was the last receiver to catch a pass from quarterback Johnny Manziel before Manziel was drafted by the Cleveland Browns.
Walker was signed as a free agent by the Edmonton Eskimos on April 29, 2015 after participating in an Eskimos mini-camp in Florida. He was placed on the practice roster at the end of the pre-season, where he remained until he was activated in early August following a hip injury to Adarius Bowman. Walker made his CFL debut in a game against the Montreal Alouettes on August 13, where he recorded 10 catches for 125 yards as well as a tackle. The following week against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Walker caught 14 passes for 183 yards. Walker would go on to finish the 2015 CFL season with 89 receptions and 1,110 yards and 6 touchdowns (in only 12 games played). In the Western Final, Derel Walker had 11 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown as the Eskimos advanced to the 103rd Grey Cup game over the Calgary Stampeders, their provincial rivals. During the Grey Cup festivities, Walker was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie. Walker continued to perform well into the 2016 season, finishing second in the league in both receptions (109) and yards (1,589) trailing teammate Adarius Bowman in both instances. Shortly after the end of their season, the Eskimos released Walker to allow him to pursue an NFL career. Walker's CFL contract was originally scheduled to expire in February 2017.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersEdit
On January 5, 2017, Walker signed a reserve/future contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reuniting him with college teammate Mike Evans. He was released by the Buccaneers on September 2, 2017 after recording just one reception for 15 yards in the preseason.
Edmonton Eskimos (second stint)Edit
On September 6, 2017, it was announced that Walker had re-signed with the Edmonton Eskimos. Walker only played in eight games for the Eskimos in 2017, but caught 48 passes for 634 yards with two touchdowns. On January 12, 2018, the Eskimos announced that they had signed Walker to a one-year contract extension through the 2018 season. Walker was fourth in the league in receiving yards (875) in early September 2018 when it was announced we would miss the next six to eight games with a knee injury. Walker missed the rest of the season, but was still named a divisional All-Star.
As a highly coveted free agent, Walker visited with Toronto Argonauts General Manager Jim Popp over several days, and eventually signed a one-year contract reportedly for $275,000 Canadian, making him the highest paid non-quarterback in the CFL.
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- "Eskimos' Derel Walker wins CFL most outstanding rookie award". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- "Eskimos release Walker; inks with Bucs - Article - TSN". TSN. 2017-01-05. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- "Derel Walker bidding farewell to Edmonton Eskimos". Edmonton Journal. 2016-11-22. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
- Kania, Joe (January 5, 2017). "Buccaneers Add CFL Star Derel Walker". Buccaneers.com. Archived from the original on January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- Smith, Scott (September 2, 2017). "Wide Variety of Moves Gets Bucs to 53". Buccaneers.com.
- "Buccaneers Add CFL Star Derel Walker". CFL.ca. September 6, 2017. Missing or empty
- "Eskimos Re-Sign Derel Walker - Edmonton Eskimos". Edmonton Eskimos. 2018-01-12. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
- "Derel Walker to miss next 6-8 weeks with knee injury - CFL.ca". CFL.ca. 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
- Staff, TSN ca (February 14, 2019). "All-Star WR Walker, Argos strike 1-year deal - TSN.ca". TSN. Retrieved February 17, 2019.