LSU wide receivers coach D.J. McCarthy knows all too well just how much talent Dallas-Skyline has for 2010.
McCarthy, who recruits the Dallas area for the Tigers, has landed a commitment from Scout.com four-star receiver Mike Davis, who is ranked No. 8 at in the country at his position and No. 56 overall in the Scout100. He’s also in the hunt for four-star outside linebacker Corey Nelson, and expressed an interest in three-star outside linebacker Dominique Patterson, prior to him committing to Texas A&M.
Skyline produces a wealth of talent each year and the Tigers are already in the mix for 2011 middle linebacker prospect Anthony Wallace.
Wallace, a 6-foot-2, 235-pounder with a reported 4.7 (40), actually benefitted from the interest that McCarthy showed in several of his teammates and he was the recipient of an early verbal offer from the Tigers.
“I was surprised,” Wallace said of the overture that was extended during the spring. “I was surprised to get an offer from a school like LSU because I didn’t play linebacker during the season. You just don’t expect a school like LSU to offer that early, so when my coach told me I was just real surprised.”
Wallace played defensive end for the Raiders, who finished 12-2 with a 28-14 loss to Stony Point in the Class 5A Division I state quarterfinals. He was part of a four-man rotation on a defensive line that helped hold opponents to 14.1 points per game.
The Raiders got stronger as the season went on and closed the regular season with two consecutive shutouts, which gave them five on the year.
Wallace also got stronger as his sophomore season progressed and he cracked the starting lineup in the 12th game and started the final three contests.
Wallace, who was unsure of his final stats, returned to familiar territory this spring and that is where McCarthy and other coaches, who made their way to Skyline during the spring, got a good look at just what he could do.
“It wasn’t that big of an adjustment because all my life I’ve played linebacker except for my sophomore year,” added Wallace, who reports offers from Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Kansas, in addition to LSU, and is getting interest from Texas, Oregon, USC, and many others. “When I switched back this spring it was just like going back home.”
The Raiders’ trio of linebackers is as good as it gets in the Lone Star State with Wallace in the middle, flanked on each side by Nelson and Patterson.
Skyline’s defense will feature speed from front to back and that was something that Wallace recognized about LSU when he watched the Tigers dismantle Georgia Tech, 38-3, in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
“I know they’re a defensive school and they always have a bunch of athletes,” Wallace said. “The last game I watched it looked like they had a lot of speed and everyone was real fast.”
Wallace saw what LSU had then and he’s also heard plenty about the Tigers from his good friend and teammate – Mike Davis.
“He tells me that it would be a good fit for me and I should go down and take a visit,” Wallace said. “I’m trying to make plans to come down with my parents in July for their camp, but I’m not sure if we can make it. If not, I’m going to get over there for a game this year.”
Wallace has already made an unofficial trip to Kansas this summer and he has a trip planned to Texas A&M this weekend. He hopes to squeeze in visits to LSU and Oklahoma before reporting for fall practice in August.
These visits are just the beginning of what is sure to be an eventful ride for Wallace as his offer list is expected to grow much longer once coaches can officially extend written scholarship offers on Sept. 1.
Until then, he has a plan for tackling the recruiting process, and a few schools have already made a strong impression.
“I’m just trying to see as many schools as possible so I can form an opinion on each one,” Wallace said. “You can definitely say, though, that LSU, OU and A&M all have my interest. USC is another one I’m waiting on too because that’s a dream school for linebackers.”