Notre Dame is where DE commit Bo Wallace wants to be

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

A swollen ankle didn’t prevent Bo Wallace from enjoying his official visit to Notre Dame.

He needed crutches following his own game on Friday night, but he stood tall in the crowd at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday for the Irish victory over North Carolina. Wearing a long-sleeved camo shirt and a Notre Dame headband, Wallace was all smiles as a visiting recruit.

Perhaps it was because he knew that he was going to verbally commit to the Irish before the visit ended. He did so on Sunday during a meeting with head coach Brian Kelly.

“I planned on committing there a while ago,” Wallace said Monday after returning to his home state of Louisiana. “I already knew where I wanted to go. I talked to (defensive backs) coach (Kerry) Cooks a while back and he told me this was an opportunity of a lifetime. That really made me remember where I wanted to be.”

That made the suspense of his official visit little more than a formality. The senior defensive end recruit visited Notre Dame in June and had been trying to get back to South Bend for quite some time. A planned visit for the Michigan game in September was scrapped because of his football schedule at River Ridge (La.) John Curtis.

An ankle injury, one he suffered in the fourth quarter of a 27-21 win Friday night, wasn’t going to stop Wallace from making his weekend trip to Notre Dame.

"I rolled my ankle pretty bad, but I'm fine,” Wallace said. “I'm walking. I'm icing it a lot.”

He fought through the soreness to soak in the game atmosphere inside Notre Dame Stadium.

"It was insane,” Wallace said. “It was non-stop cheering."

Wallace received some cheering of his own following his Sunday commitment. He and Kelly stopped by a meeting room to inform a happy defensive coaching staff of his pledge. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Wallace fits a need the Irish had yet to fulfill in the 2015 recruiting class.

The three-star recruit will serve as a rush end for the Irish. Adding some size to his frame will be important, but Wallace’s speed on the edge gives him a high ceiling as a pass rusher. He fits a similar mold as freshman Kolin Hill, who has found early success as a pass rush specialist, and freshman Jhonny Williams, who earned high reviews in preseason camp but appears destined for a redshirt season.

Hill was among the many current Irish players who Wallace spent time with on his visit. The conversations he had with Hill, Tarean Folston, Torii Hunter Jr., Sheldon Day and others help solidify his plans to commit to Notre Dame.

"They told me how Notre Dame had changed their lives,” Wallace said. “Talking with those guys, they seemed really authentic. I knew that already, but they just reassured it."

The addition of Wallace moved Notre Dame’s 2015 recruiting class up to No. 11 in class rankings from Rivals and 247Sports. Wallace became commitment No. 19.

Wallace tweeted on Sunday that he was leaving South Bend, but that he would be back. It’s where he plans to spend his next few years.

“I fit in perfect,” he said. "It was just where I always wanted to be.”

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI