Future Watch: Eric Wallace

The buzz has started. In fact, the buzz started over a year ago. There's a young star budding down near Winston Salem. And despite only being a freshman, 6-6 Eric Wallace is already projected as one of the top players in the North Carolina class of 2007 -- and maybe even in the nation.

"This kid is tremendous, man. I'm telling you, it's going to be scary watching this kid develop over the next few years," said Brian Clifton, Wallace's travel team coach at D-One Sports. "I've been around some good players, like my younger brother Dwon, and Cameron Bennerman. Those guys were exceptional at a young age, but you can't even compare those kids to Eric at the same age."

Clifton thinks that Wallace has what it takes both on and off the court to evolve into a big time college basketball player.

"He's got all the makings of a super star. He comes from a good family and he's an honor roll student. He's got good character, too. And on the court -- he does whatever it takes to win. Whether it's scoring 30 points like he did against Dudley or just playing his role."

Wallace started for Kernersville (N.C.) Glenn High School this year as a ninth-grader and led them to a championship in the conference tournament. And next season, the rangy wing will take on a bigger role.

"It wasn't even his time this year," said Clifton. "I think his role will expand next year. He just had to play with so many older guys this year."

College programs aren't wasting any time positioning themselves with Wallace. Clifton informed us on just who has been keeping tabs on the star.

"Everybody with some sense," he laughed.

"Louisville's going to recruit him. North Carolina, Wake Forest, NC State, Clemson, Virginia Tech are all aware and recruiting him. And I know Johnny Dawkins at Duke, and I've sent word up to him."

And of course, Wallace is probably a fan of one particular team, right?

"He's a huge Tar Heel fan, no doubt," said Clifton.

Wallace was a regular guest of the Tar Heels at the Smith Center this season and the UNC coaching staff has already seen him in action.

Needless to say, he's expected to be one of Carolina's top targets in the coming years.

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