Wallace ready for change
In the days leading up to National Signing Day, four-star linebacker Bo Wallace had an uneasy feeling in his stomach.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, La., wasn’t second guessing his decision to leave the comforts of home for South Bend. He was overly excited about the next chapter in his life.
“Man, it’s nerve-wracking,” Wallace said. “I was just sitting here listening to music thinking and running through everything in my head. It’s a dream coming true. I was talking to another ND commit and we both talked about it together. He was basically like saying, ‘Why do you like ND?’ I told him why and he told me why.”
The decision to pick Notre Dame was easy.
“Basically, it’s four years of my life for the rest of my life,” he said. “That’s something that stood out to me that I’ll keep thinking about.”
Wallace has an aunt that lives in Illinois, about an hour from South Bend. That helped Wallace overcome the anxiety of leaving home.
“That’s what really sealed the deal,” he said. “That and hearing all the things I wanted to hear from (the coaching staff). I’m not saying that they fed me lies and BS but everything they said is coming true. They said I’m going to be nervous and I’m nervous right now. They said things are going to change immediately. Friends you had in high school are going to fade away and some of the guys I hung out with every day during the year in football season are starting to fade away. They said be prepared for things to change. It’s not a negative change, it’s a positive change.”
Being prepared for that change helped Wallace stay steadfast in his decision to attend Notre Dame even after news broke that his primary recruiter, Kerry Cooks, would be leaving Notre Dame for a job at Oklahoma.
“I talked to coach (Brian) Kelly about that (on Monday),” Wallace said. “Like I told coach Kelly, I’m not saying I couldn’t care less because he was an amazing benefit and factor in my recruiting process but I wish him the best. If that’s the best benefit for his family then I wish him nothing but the best. He has two beautiful little girls and he has to take care of them and his wife. It is what it is.”
Wallace understands the nature of the business and he’s headed to South Bend focused on becoming the best student-athlete he can be.
He has spent the past several months getting to know his future teammates, especially his peers in the recruiting class of 2015.
“I met a lot of the players and we have a group chat,” Wallace said. “That’s something I’m looking forward to. It’s something different. I was talking to one kid, he committed to somewhere else, but he was just asking me why I feel like this and why am I so excited and nervous. This is a dream. I don’t know if I’m spazzing out or what.”
Wallace and early enrollee Jerry Tillery talk on a daily basis. The two live about 45 minutes away from each other and were friends even before they committed to Notre Dame.
With Tillery on campus, Wallace has heard even more about the school.
“Jerry Tillery is still on me a lot,” Wallace said. “I talk to him almost every day about how he feels. He’s kind of like a closer friend than anybody else is. Every single day we talk. He sent us a picture in the group message. It goes, ‘I woke up this morning thinking I was going to have on a little sweatshirt and go outside. I walked outside and had to turn back around because there was almost a foot of snow.’”
With his college decision behind him, the biggest decision for Wallace is what to pull out of his closet on signing ceremony.
“I still don’t know what I’m wearing,” he said. “We’ll have a ceremony but the guys that are signing don’t have to go into school until then. We’ll come in around 7 to sign the papers so they can send them off and then I’ll sign a second pair for TV purposes.”