The Terps offered four of Juan Wallace's (Woodson/Washington, D.C.) teammates, and finally they extended a verbal to the 2018 inside linebacker Feb. 24. The 6-foot, 215-pound Wallace added his ninth verbal form the hometown school, with UMD joining Wisconsin; Syracuse; Temple; Kentucky; Iowa State; Duke and more.
Needless to say, Wallace was thrilled about the local look.
“I’m very, vey excited about it,” Wallace said. “It’s a great school. I’m crying right now. I think the hometown school is the most important school to get, so it’s an honor to get the offer from Maryland. It means a lot to me.”
Wallace had been in contact with UMD-area recruiter Aazaar Abdul-Rahim for quite some time. He’d also spoken to linebackers coach Matt Barnes and head coach DJ Durkin.
“I actually called Coach Durkin, and he was the one who told me about the offer,” Wallace said. “He told me I'd be a great fit for them and he really likes my game. He said the staff loved me and my film was great. He thinks I can be an impact linebacker there right away. So that was great to hear.”
Since he’s local, Wallace has been to College Park, Md., on multiple occasions. He’s attended a camp, a game, and a prospect day at UMD. Most recently, he toured the school in February along with his parents.
“My parents and I were just up there, and Maryland expressed a lot of interest in me then. They were really welcoming to me and my family,” Wallace said. “I know my parents liked the coaches a lot and think Maryland is a great school academically. They liked Maryland a lot as well. And I thought it was great. I’m very high on Maryland.”
Wallace went on to say he’d watch the Terps in action several times in 2016. He attended one fall game and watched the majorly on TV.
“I’d say Maryland is on the rise right now. They had a great class in 2017 and they’re getting there to compete with Penn State and Ohio State,” Wallace said. “They’re getting closer to a Big Ten championship. It’s an exciting time at Maryland right now.”
Wallace, naturally, has heard about UMD from his teammates. Ed Hendrix, Noah Boykin, Vincent Flythe and Mike Salahuddin all had UMD offers prior to Wallace’s.
“We’re all talking about Maryland right now,” Wallace said. “It’s very high for all of us, and we’re talking about the hometown school. It would be great for us all to go there. But we’re just talking right now. We’re enjoying the process, but we’ve got to respect the hometown school.”
Wallace went on to detail his latest trek UMD. He enjoyed seeing the facility upgrades, the renovations and meeting the coaches again.
“My relationshiop with Maryland is very strong. I’ve been talking to Coach [Matt] Barnes for awhile now, we’ve really connected. And I’ve known Coach Aazaar since my high school career starter. He’s a great coach and a great mentor. He knows football and life, and he knows how to fight trough adversity in life,” Wallace said. “And, actually, I know his brother very well too; he’s a great DB coach. So I know them well at Maryland.”
Besides UMD, Wallace has been to Duke and Temple. He’ll be getting to Maryland, Syracuse, Rutgers and Pitt soon.
“I’d say Maryland and Duke have ben talking to me the most. I loved it at Duke -- the environment and campus. It’s a great school and that’s anther program on the rise. Syracuse, those coaches have also talking to me a lot. I know them from way back and will be visiting real soon,” Wallace said.
Wallace would like to have Tennessee and Va Tech offers. He believes both will come in eventually.
“The recruiting process is a blessing,” Wallace said. “But I really want to be decided [on a school] by the summer so I can concente on my team. Location, campus, how far the school is so my family can see my games, education, who has my major, and also depth chart and what linebackers are there are important to me. I’ll be taking all of that into consideration.”