Rix was declared academically ineligible for failing to take a final exam in religion. Though some Georgia coaches had difficulty believing the news after practice Tuesday, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden told The Associated Press "there's no chance for (Rix) to play in the Sugar Bowl'' because it was an academic decision.
After Florida State's Deion Sanders played in the 1989 Sugar Bowl against Auburn despite not taking any final exams, the school instituted a rule that a player automatically is ineligible for a bowl game if he misses a final exam.
According to reports, Rix slept through his religion exam.
Walker, a sophomore from Americus, moves up as the starter despite having little playing time this season. Walker was behind both Rix and Adrian McPherson on the depth chart; McPherson was kicked off the team and was then arrested last month for his role in a check-writing scam.
Walker spent one spring at Florida State when Georgia coach Mark Richt was still the Seminoles' quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. But after a conflict with a test score, Walker had to spend a year at a Mississippi junior college.
When Richt was hired as Georgia's coach, Walker showed interest in transferring to Georgia.
Walker set the Georgia High School Association record for passing yards and touchdowns at Americus High and was a highly regarded recruit, so Richt was interested in bringing the 6-foot-2, 216-pound quarterback to Athens. "I had some discussions with his family; I guess I can say that now,''
Richt said Tuesday. "We recruited him. There were actually some Southeastern Conference issues that would not allow him to come.''
It is SEC policy that a junior college transfer must have completed at least three semesters at the two-year school. Walker spent only two semesters at the junior college.
"We appealed it too, but (the SEC office) didn't budge on it,'' Richt said. "... We thought we had a decent appeal.''
Asked if he thought Walker would have signed with Georgia if not for the SEC transfer rule, Richt said "We would have had a chance.''
Richt's staff of defensive coaches has spent the past two weeks preparing for Rix. Walker, a dual threat as a passer and runner, could give the Florida State offense a different look.
Richt, still familiar with Florida State's veteran players, said he also expects leading receiver Abquan Boldin to see time at quarterback.
But as Georgia begins its bowl practice, the sudden new priority is preparing for Walker. Appearing in only three games, Walker completed 5 of 8 passes for 74 yards.
"(Walker) is an outstanding passer,'' Richt said. "At high school, he would run that one-minute drill like a pro. He was really a poised guy. ... He was a throw-first, run-second guy, but he could run. ... I think he broke about every record in Georgia throwing the ball.''
Richt is familiar with Florida State's strict policy on final exams, but some Georgia assistant coaches were incredulous, expecting Florida State would find a way for Rix to have another opportunity to take the test.
Said defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder of the news on Rix: "That's a rumor to me right now. We're not going to give it that much thought until it's fact.''
Asked about the task of defending Walker, VanGorder said: "I haven't had time to think of such a thing. ... Florida State has been doing what they're doing and they do it well. I wouldn't expect anything from their standpoint to change.''