Bowling Green coach Kevin Wallace is used to having Division I football coaches recruit players off his team. He's had players going to Division I schools for almost 15 years and can rattle off a long list of players he's got to watch play in college.
However, this recruiting season is a little different because his son, Ryan, a tight end, is one of the players being recruited by Division I coaches. He already has nine Division I scholarship offers — and that total could increase.
‘This whole recruiting process been very surreal for me. I am happy for Ryan that he has the opportunities in front of him he has. I am most proud of the way he has handled it. It has made him work even harder. He has been very mature in building relationships with coaches," Kevin Wallace said.
Wallace and his son have planned on making an early college choice so Ryan Wallace can concentrate on a possible state championship season for Bowling Green.
"I think by the first or second week of July, he will get this over with because he wants to have a good senior season. We are just very happy that Kentucky is an opportunity for him now," Kevin Wallace said.
Kevin Wallace said the offer his son got from UK coach Rich Brooks on Friday was "something special" for him. However, he notes that Purdue offers a "great academic and athletic opportunity" and that Mississippi was the first Southeastern Conference school to offer him a scholarship. Cincinnati has the advantage of not being far from home. Stanford is also intriguing and the coach says it could be a "life-changing experience" for his son to go there.
"It is more about being able to feel comfortable about people you are going to work under and people you are going to work with," Kevin Wallace said. "I think traveling has given us an opportunity to do that. We can sit down on vacation the first week in July and come back to Bowling Green with a clear mind and something to look forward to after we have our last season together as coach and player."
Still, this big-time recruiting process has caught the coach by surprise.
"We didn't really expect it to get like this. We are tickled to death it has. I guess as a dad and coach, I still see a lot of warts and still see him as a 5-10 freshman," Kevin Wallace said. "As a young player, I never expected anything like this would happen.
"But he has grown so quick and got so much bigger and stronger, but I am most proud of the way he has handled the recruiting process. I have put it pretty much in his hands. He is the one developing relationships with the coaches. I did for him what I did for every kid I have had. We send out tape and promote kids. He's no different than any other kid — except he is the coach's kid and has been around this all his life. Hopefully that gives him an advantage."