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Hopewell's Ronnie Walker cleared to play at UVA, could suit up on Saturday

Hopewell's Ronnie Walker cleared to play at UVA, could suit up on Saturday

Ronnie Walker

The NCAA denied Ronnie Walker’s initial waiver request to play immediately at UVA, but he prevailed on his second appeal.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Former Hopewell High School star Ronnie Walker has been granted an NCAA waiver to play this football season for Virginia, his former coach said Wednesday.

Walker, a running back from Indiana, transferred to UVA, in part, to be closer to his family during the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Walker’s initial request to play and his first appeal were denied by the NCAA, the governing body of college athletics.

His second and final appeal was granted Wednesday, according to Hopewell coach Ricky Irby.

“I’m very excited and happy,” Walker said in April when he committed to the Cavaliers. “To be closer to my family and I love the family feel that the program has. I think I can make a big impact to the standard. I think I fit perfect in their offensive scheme.”

A three-star recruit in the 2018 class, the 5-foot-11, 211-pound Walker was a top 10 prospect in the commonwealth. He chose Indiana over UVA. At Indiana, Walked played in 22 career games, running for 221 yards and two touchdowns on 59 carries, and catching 12 passes 112 yards and a score.

Walker has been practicing with Virginia and could be available to play this weekend at Wake Forest.

Offensive coordinator Robert Anae said a player who was cleared by Thursday could typically play in a Saturday game.

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