DE recruit Bo Wallace excited for return visit to Notre Dame
Bo Wallace knows a regular day on campus cannot compare to a game day. That’s why he’s scheduled a return trip to Notre Dame for its Sept. 6 game against Michigan.
He last visited South Bend on June 4, a trip that solidified the Irish as a serious contender for the senior outside linebacker/defensive end prospect.
“The atmosphere is going to be 10 times better,” Wallace said. “The guys are going to be pumped up to go out there and dominate a game that they participate in every year. I'm excited."
Wallace pinpointed Notre Dame’s game against Michigan for his official visit for a reason. The prime time game will be a big recruiting weekend for the Irish and will allow the visitors one last glimpse of a series that will be going on hiatus after this season.
“It's one of those games where it's going to be live,” Wallace said. “This is history right here: Michigan and Notre Dame. This is a big game. It's like LSU and 'Bama."
The comparison to an SEC rivalry is to be expected from a recruit at John Curtis School in River Ridge, La. But don’t expect Wallace’s recruitment to be limited by his region. Among a number of schools receiving serious consideration from Wallace are Notre Dame, UCLA and Arizona.
Don’t confuse Wallace with the starting quarterback at Mississippi with the same name. This Wallace chases quarterbacks. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound prospect will be one of Notre Dame’s most important visitors for the Michigan game. Finding pass rushers in the 2015 class remains a serious concern for the Irish.
Wallace lists rushing the quarterback as his best skill. That could lead him to playing more defensive end than outside linebacker in college, depending on the scheme.
“If you have a guy rushing every play, it's kind of like, ‘I don't know if he's going to rush this way or this way,’” Wallace said. “Especially if I'm covering at times too. ‘I don't know if he's going to rush this way or cover.’ I want everyone to be on their toes not knowing what I'm going to do.”
Position preference won’t play a large role in the final decision for the three-star prospect. Rivals ranks Wallace as the No. 27 outside linebacker in the 2015 class. 247Sports slates him No. 29 at the position.
“I'm one of those guys where it doesn't matter,” Wallace said. “As long as I get playing time, I don't care where I am on the field. As long as I get out there, I'll have fun."
What will play a larger role is the relationships Wallace forms with Notre Dame’s staff, program and school. His June visit opened his eyes to what the Irish had to offer.
“I knew about Notre Dame and its history, but I really got to know the coaches,” Wallace said. “They have an amazing coaching staff with Brian Kelly being the head coach. He's an amazing guy. I got to talk with him personally one-on-one and each coach one-on-one. I fell in love with the place, the atmosphere, the guys. Notre Dame is just one of those schools that it's what's not to like about them?”
Detractors could point the ongoing academic fraud investigation of four Notre Dame football players as a negative, but Wallace doesn’t feel the same way. After learning of the investigation, he reached out to Kelly and defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks, who recruits in Louisiana for the Irish. The two reassured him that the investigation was an isolated incident.
“The NCAA didn't call for the investigation, it's the school itself,” Wallace said. “In my head, I was like, ‘If a school can do an investigation on its players without the NCAA doing it, I hold them in the highest regard.’ They get my highest compliments.”
Notre Dame remains Wallace’s only planned visit for the 2014 season so far. He visited Texas for its spring game and plans to check out a number of other schools. Playing for Curtis, a legitimate contender for a state championship annually, will require the majority of his attention, Wallace said.
One school that may land a visit, Arizona, has a unique connection to Wallace. Arizona assistant coach Calvin Magee played with Wallace’s father at Booker T. Washington High School in New Orleans. Wallace isn’t quite ready to name a top list of schools, but it’s something that has been on his mind.
"I have a lot of great schools that have offered so it's kind of hard to put some aside,” Wallace said. “I've been thinking about trying to narrow it down to a few schools, but I haven't really figured out what I want to do yet."
Whether it’s in person on visits or on television, Wallace plans to watch a lot of college football this fall. The Irish will be among the short list of schools he will make sure to catch.
"I'll be watching Notre Dame a lot this season,” Wallace said. “And that's another thing why I want to narrow it down because I want to watch those schools in their seasons. A season can determine my choice. If you have a great season that will help. If you're season is kind of rocky, but I see the potential in the team that can help too."
Watch highlights of Wallace here.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI