East No. 8 OLB Juan Wallace explains why he committed to Syracuse

Washington (D.C.) Woodson linebacker Juan Wallace talks about his commitment to Syracuse.

Even when Juan Wallace was listing his top five schools a few weeks back, his passion and excitement for Syracuse was clear.

And as the Orange made the recruiting rounds during the current evaluation period, the top linebacker in Washington, D.C., saw no reason to prolong the inevitable, so he committed to Syracuse on Thursday night.

"Great school, great education, great football, the ACC and I liked the connection between me and the coaching staff," said Wallace, who is 6-foot-2 1/2, 216 pounds. "They made me a priority and one of their top guys. I felt the love and I felt like I needed to be there."


Wallace's top five also consisted of DukeWest VirginiaRutgers and Maryland, but the Woodson High standout said his comfort with the staff and the direction of the program trumped each other suitor.

"They are on the rise," Wallace said. "They're coming back. They are a team on the rise in the ACC, and they're playing against Florida State and Clemson and all the top opponents. But I have so much faith in Syracuse I feel like I needed to jump in.

"The process was a joy, but at the same time you have to make that decision."

Wallace was recruited to play middle linebacker, and he hit it off with defensive coordinator Brian Ward, who also coaches the linebackers.

"I'm very comfortable at the Mike (middle) linebacker spot, and being the quarterback of the defense and holding down the fort and calling out the defense," Wallace said. "I really enjoy that, and I'm most comfortable there. I talk to (Ward) every day and we have a great connection.

"We have so much in common. We talk about different things, and I have a really nice relationship with him. He's honest, tells the truth and what the situation is going to be. He's a really nice coach."

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