Wallace's Father Reflects On Visit To OSU

Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy basketball standout Eric Wallace made an official visit to Ohio State this past weekend. Wallace's father, Monty, provides a look at how the visit went and what the family is thinking as the early signing period nears in November.

If Eric Wallace is to make any sort of decision as to his future college plans before the early November signing period, it's going to have to be a sprint to the finish.

The 6-7 senior from Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy wrapped up an official visit this past weekend to Ohio State. According to his father Monty Wallace, the planets might have to align perfectly if his son is able to sign a national letter of intent during the early NCAA men's basketball signing period beginning Nov. 8 and ending Nov. 15.

"We're going to do at least one and possibly two more visits," the elder Wallace told Bucknuts.com Sunday evening. "If it happens (signing early), it happens. But it's going to be hard to pull it in before the early signing period."

According to Wallace, his son is planning visits to Florida and Louisville in addition to the trip to Columbus. He also added that those are the three schools under consideration and if all three visits were out of the way by Nov. 15, they may still consider committing and thereby signing a letter-of-intent with that particular program.

Wallace is an athletic forward from Kernersville, N.C., ranked as the No. 95 overall prospect in the 2007 class, according to ScoutHoops.com. He transferred to Hargrave before the school year began and has since flourished, according to his father.

"He's doing very well at Hargrave – he's the type of kid that tries to make the best of every situation," Wallace explained. "By that, he's at a military school and he doesn't actually have to be there at this point in his life. But he's trying to get better. While he's there, he's trying to move up in the ranks and I'm not referring to basketball – I am talking about getting stripes and moving up to lieutenant, sergeant and all that."

But in addition to the off-the-court improvements, it just so happens that his basketball skills have also gotten better.

The lone knock on Wallace has been his shooting and consistency. His physical frame, athleticism and ability to get to the rim have been unparalleled by many. But to move up the ranks, borrowing a line from his father, as far as basketball, Wallace has set his sights on getting better.

"He's really working hard on his shooting," Wallace's father added. "He's been taking a lot of shots and trying to improve that aspect since he's already able to get to the rim."

The visit to Ohio State came about after the Buckeyes began recruiting Wallace very recently. In watching his new Hargrave teammate Dorenzo Hudson last month, OSU head coach Thad Matta saw – and was impressed with Wallace.

Wallace was formerly committed to Virginia but earlier this fall, decided to back off his verbal pledge to look around at other schools.

Before he could ever think about reaffirming his commitment, the Cavaliers reportedly parted ways.

"I can't say that in the beginning he was actually going in a different direction but he wanted to open his recruitment up to make sure the direction he was going in was the right one," Wallace said of his son's backing off the Virginia commitment. "There was some turn of events and now we're looking at Ohio State, Florida and Louisville."

All three schools, according to Wallace, have scholarship offers available for his son should he decide to commit.

Ohio State had the first turn to put their best foot forward.

"It went very well – they treated us very nice," Wallace said of his family's weekend. "Eric went down a little before we did so he got to watch practice on Friday. We got down a little later Friday and went out to eat that night. Saturday morning I watched them practice along with Eric, we caught the football game, ate again Saturday night and Sunday morning we wanted to get a start back home so we left."

On his visit before flying back to Greensboro Sunday afternoon, Wallace hung out with most of the Ohio State players and a couple of the Ohio State recruits including 2007 verbal commitment Jon Diebler.

Monty Wallace in particular was most impressed with Matta, the academic programs at Ohio State and some of the details of the Buckeye program.

"Top notch – he's a great guy and a great coach, obviously," Wallace said of Matta. "They treated us very well this weekend. Everything was top-notch.

"Their academic programs are becoming what they should be," he added. "Their sports' graduation rates are getting a lot better."

Wallace tried his best to talk about their viewpoint of each of the three schools under consideration.

"I can't really from a visit standpoint I really can't compare because Ohio State is the only one we've been to," he said issuing a disclaimer, "but Ohio State if you look at that program, the recruiting they've done and obviously their coach, their program is becoming a real good basketball program.

"Florida having been National Champions and then the recruiting class they have coming in this year, it appears they're going to be a pretty good team for a while now," Wallace added.

And according to Wallace, Louisville he's still learning about as they go along.

"Louisville I can't really say a lot about them because I don't know that much," Wallace added. "But I did look at the recruiting class they have coming in and they've got Derrick Caracter – one of the top big men in the country. You also can't deny what their coach (Rick Pitino) has done. He's an excellent coach."

It looks like it will be quite the three-horse race down the final stretch. That is, unless of course it becomes a marathon until the spring signing period.

Wallace was on hand as Matta was introduced to a rousing ovation at the Skull Session inside St. John Arena prior to Saturday's football game.

The Buckeyes have 10 players on scholarship this season and will have 12 on scholarship for next year, leaving one scholarship available for current members of the 2007 class.

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