Louisville lands top kicker

Charlie Strong and the Louisville Cardinals struck again Tuesday afternoon. John Wallace, one of the top 2011 kickers nationally, made a big decision about his future after visiting Louisville recently and promises to beef up Louisville's special teams in the future. Wallace spoke with InsideTheVille.com about his big decision.

Though he grew up a Kentucky fan, Cecilia (KY) Central Hardin punter/kicker John Wallace decided Tuesday that he will take his talents to Louisville next season.

Wallace, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound All-State honorable mention selection called UofL coach Charlie Strong Tuesday and gave the Cardinals their tenth verbal commitment in the Class of 2011.

"I feel pretty good getting it off my chest and not having to worry about it anymore," Wallace told Jason Higdon. "I thought about it and wasn't sure why I was waiting. I talked to my parents about everything and decided this was the best thing for me to do. I called Coach Strong and told him I decided to accept his offer and he said congratulations then I talked to the other coaches and they all said they can't wait to see me play for them."

Wallace attended Louisville's junior day last month where he received an offer for the Cardinals. Wallace also attended the Cardinals spring game last week. Louisville special teams coach Kenny Carter plans on Wallace doing both punting and place-kicking for the Cards.

"I spoke with Kenny Carter and he said that my first year I need to concentrate on punting but at the same time I can work on kicking as well," Wallace said. "My biggest strength is kicking field goals. I don't have any bad days kicking field goals but my punting is coming along better than it used to and kickoffs have gotten a lot stronger as I am getting older."

An outstanding prospect with an extremely big leg and great accuracy, Wallace, who also received strong interest from Kentucky, has a chance to be the top ranked kicker in the class of 2011.

"Here's an example of how he's improved," Central Hardin kicking coach Dallas Halcomb told the News-Enterprise recently. "At the Nike camp (last May), he had a hang time on his punts of 3.65 seconds. In the middle of September, I had seven balls in the bag and had him punt all of them and I timed him. His lowest time was 4.54 and his highest time was 4.66.

"Kickoff-wise at the Nike camp he averaged 56 or 57 yards. … Our first six or seven games until we got into the real mud this past season, he averaged 66½ yards on his kickoffs."

Though he received interest from Kentucky, Louisville presents opportunity for Wallace to see early playing time. Louisville's place-kicker Chris Philpott and punter Josh Belser will be juniors this season, leaving the door open for Wallace to contribute early in his career for the Cards.

"My parents left me alone and told me the decision was up to me," Wallace said. "They were not pushing me either way and they are real happy that the decision making process is out of the way."

As a junior, Wallace made 11 field goals with a long of 49 yards against Logan County. The top-ranked kicker in Kentucky by Scout.com, Wallace has connected on 22-of-27 career field goals and has made all but two of his extra points.

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