Inside is a commitment breakdown of the newest member of the 2015 Notre Dame recruiting class, defensive end Bo Wallace of River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian, including player analysis, recruiting timeline and big picture depth implications.
Profile: Bo Wallace
Location: River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian
Height: 6’3” ½
Rank: Three-star, No. 51 ranked linebacker in 2015
Though Wallace is ranked as a linebacker, he projects as a defensive end for Notre Dame
“A lean rush end who has shown ability to play with both his hand down and standing up... He’s more of a hybrid on the next level – lean, long, fairly athletic, and a good up-the-field pass-rusher. His biggest strength now is getting after the quarterback, and as he adds more moves, he’ll get better. He uses his length well, flashes hands and covers a lot of ground in a hurry. He has yet to really show much in pass coverage, but he may not be asked to do that on the next level. He needs to add bulk and get stronger to improve against the run. Overall, Wallace is good at applying pressure, he’s known for his big hits, and he’s someone with real upside as he refines his game and develops physically.” – Scout.com national recruiting analyst, Chad Simmons
Wallace, originally from New Orleans, moved back home to attend John Curtis Christian after spending his sophomore year at Foster High in Richmond, Texas.
Wallace’s first offer came from Oklahoma on Feb. 10, 2014. At the time, Wallace told Scout.com:
"I'm happy God gave me the ability and want to say thank you to Him. I want to stay humble because you never know when you're time is going to come. I want to stay focused.”
Arizona State, Tennessee and Notre Dame quickly followed the Sooners with offers. Officially, the Irish offered Wallace on Feb. 25, 2014.
On June 4 of this year, Wallace visited Notre Dame for the first time, and his parents accompanied him. He was attending a cousin’s graduation 45 minutes outside of South Bend, and the trip presented an ideal opportunity for a visit. Prior to Wallace’s trip to Notre Dame, he held a top five of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas and UCLA.
Wallace left Notre Dame high on the Irish, as did his parents, and in August, he announced he had plans to take an official visit to Notre Dame for its game vs. Michigan in September. That was the first official visit Wallace set his sights on scheduling.
However, Wallace’s high school football schedule prevented him from making the trip. Once it came together that he would have a free Saturday the weekend of Notre Dame’s game vs. North Carolina, he booked a plane ticket just days before arriving in South Bend.
Despite the fact that not many Curtis prospects make their decisions mid-season, Wallace was on commit watch entering the weekend after he named the Irish to the top of his list in mid-September. On Sunday, Wallace announced his commitment on Twitter.
He ultimately chose the Irish over finalists Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas and UCLA. Trips to Texas and UCLA were in the works prior to his commitment to Notre Dame, but no details were ever finalized. LSU has expressed interest in Wallace, but the in-state Tigers have yet to offer.
"I guess it's a perfect time to tell everyone I'm committed to the University of Notre Dame #GoIrish" – Wallace’s (@_BoWallace) announcement on Twitter
“I had really been focusing a lot of my movements, working on recognizing the down and the distance and understanding then what I am looking for in that situation. I also worked a lot on my hand placement doing drills and I was also working on my overall conditioning.” – Wallace
"Some schools want me to get out there and rush off the edge and pack on another 30 pounds, and some want me to gain another 20 and kind of play linebacker and cover if I need to and still rush if they want me to." – Wallace
"Academics are really what I'm looking for. What is your degree going to do for me? If football doesn't work, what does having the University of Texas on a diploma do for me? That's what I'm really looking for. Which one fits me the best academically. Campus vibe (too). I mean if I am just walking around will someone come up and say ‘Hey, how are you doing?' Little stuff like that matters to me.” – Wallace
What this means for Irish recruiting
Notre Dame’s depth at edge pass-rusher is youthful and few in numbers. In 2015, Romeo Okwara
, Isaac Rochell
, Andrew Trumbetti
, Grant Blakenship, Kolin Hill
, and Jhonathon Williams
will be the primary contributors at the position.
In Brian VanGorder’s scheme, the pass rush comes from multiple areas on the field, but Wallace's commitment is important from the specific standpoint that Notre Dame needed to add more bodies to fill out the defensive end position in the 4-3 front.
Notre Dame is still pursuing 2015 pass-rushers Porter Gustin
and Alabama commitment Mekhi Brown
. Adding another defensive end to complement Wallace in this class would be ideal for depth purposes.
As touched upon already, it’s a good sign for the Irish that a John Curtis Christian prospect is in the fold. After coming close last year with three-star defensive back Terrance Alexander
(Stanford) and four-star wide receiver Malachi Dupre
(LSU), Irish assistant Kerry Cooks was able to get over the hump in securing Wallace. Notre Dame offered 2015 Curtis three-star safety Hunter Dale
Wallace is Notre Dame’s 19th commitment in 2015 overall and second from Louisiana, joining four-star offensive tackle Jerry Tillery
of Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian.
Notre Dame’s defensive end depth in 2015
Potential 5th years - Chase Hounshell (RS), Anthony Rabasa (RS), Ishaq Williams (RS)
Senior - Romeo Okwara
Juniors - Isaac Rochell, Jacob Matuska (RS)
Sophomores - Andrew Trumbetti, Jhonathon Williams, Grant Blankenship, Kolin Hill
Freshman - Bo Wallace
Wallace finds fit with Notre Dame