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Wesley Walker
refer to caption
Walker playing for the Jets in 1981
No. 85
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1955-05-26) May 26, 1955 (age 67)
San Bernardino, California
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:179 lb (81 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft:1977 / Round: 2 / Pick: 33
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving Yards:8,306
Player stats at · PFR

Wesley Darcel Walker (born May 26, 1955) is a former professional American football wide receiver who played for the New York Jets from 1977 to 1989.

Walker graduated from Carson High School in Carson, California, where he set many receiving and return records, and was an All-American at the University of California, catching 86 passes for 2,206 yards and 22 touchdowns over the course of four seasons, an average of 25.7 yards per catch.[1]

He was noted for his great speed, averaging over 20 yards per reception over many seasons (his career average was 19 yards per reception). At the time of his retirement, he was second in Jets all-time receiving yardage. Legally blind in his left eye,[2] Walker overcame this handicap to become one of the Jets all-time great receivers.

Connie Carberg, the first female scout in NFL history was credited with helping the Jets in their selection of Walker in the second round of the 1977 NFL Draft.[3]

He led the league in receiving yards in 1978, was elected to the Pro Bowl twice 1978 and 1982, and was named the New York Jets MVP in 1978.

Walker was one of the dominant players in the 1982 NFL Playoffs: in two postseason games, he caught 15 passes for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns, as the Jets beat the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Raiders, both on the road.

His best receiving season came in 1983, when he caught 61 receptions; and in 1986 he had a career-best 12 receiving touchdowns. Four of them were scored in week three, as he caught a game-winning touchdown from the Jets quarterback Ken O'Brien in overtime to give the Jets a wild shootout win 51-45 over the Miami Dolphins.

When he retired, he had caught 438 passes for 8,306 yards and 71 touchdowns.

Walker is now a retired physical education teacher at Park View Elementary School in Kings Park, New York, and an occasional sports radio show commentator. He has two sons and a daughter. His older son, John, was a 3x All-American lacrosse player at The United States Military Academy at West Point. His younger son, Austin, played lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the godfather of Alexandra Florant, the daughter of the track and field star Carl Florant.

Like many former NFL players, Walker suffers from a variety of ailments as a direct result from his playing days, which he detailed in a revealing 2016 interview with Long Island Pulse Magazine.[4] He graduated from Mercy College.[5]

Walker was inducted into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame on Long Island in the Football Category with the Class of 2000.


  1. ^ "Wesley Walker College Stats". College Football at Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  2. ^ "Visual Cues Compensate for Blindness in One Eye". The New York Times. September 13, 1983. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  3. ^ Rodriguez, Ihosvani (October 27, 2012). "Woman's eye for talent opened an NFL door". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved June 7, 2020 – via
  4. ^ Prato, Greg (January 22, 2016). "The Dark Side of Life After the NFL". Long Island Pulse Magazine. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Brenner, Elsa (September 5, 1999). "Mercy College Head Extends Her Hand". The New York Times. Retrieved December 26, 2019.