Jonathan Wallace talks trip to Knoxville
"Actually, I have been to Knoxville to camps in the 7th and 8th grade," said Jonathan Wallace. "It was great to go back up after a few years. Much of it was the same from what I remembered. I really liked the campus environment. The facilities they have are very nice. It was all just great.
"I made the visit with both of my parents. My Dad had come up with me for the camps, but it was my Mom's first time in Knoxville, and she really liked it. I like how the campus makes up a big part of the town. We got to talk to the players, and they all said how much they felt it was like home for them."
This was Wallace's first year as a starter for Central-Phenix City first year coach, Woodrow Lowe. Lowe was a star linebacker at the University of Alabama, and an 11-year pro with the San Diego Chargers. Wallace helped Lowe start out a winner in his initial season going 9-2. Wallace accounted for more than 2,000 total yards, 1,200 passing and 850 rushing and 27 touchdowns.
"I can play in a spread offense in college," said Wallace, "but my goal is to make it to the NFL, so I'd really love to play in a pro-style offense. This year I did a good job of recognizing defenses and got more of an in-depth understanding of pro-style offense. When I was at Tennessee I talked football with Coach (Jim) Chaney and Coach (Darin) Hinshaw. I really liked them."
Wallace has received an offer from Arkansas State where two of his senior teammates, Bronterrious Jakes and J.D. McKissic, signed with this February. By spending summers interacting at camps and with a good junior year, Wallace is hoping for more offers and looking around at prospective colleges.
"Last month, I went to a Junior Day at Georgia Tech," Wallace said. "This weekend I'm going to Auburn. Hopefully, I can make it to some others as well. Last season I went to Vanderbilt for a game. Tennessee said they want to further evaluate me before they offer and want me to return to Knoxville to camp this summer. I plan on doing that."
For his play this year for the Central Red Devils, Wallace was named 1st team All-Area and 2nd team All Bi-City (Columbus, GA/Phenix City, Ala.).
"Leadership is what I bring to the quarterback position," said Wallace. "I can find an open receiver and did a lot better progressing through my reads. Going to so many camps helped me to be successful in my first year as a starter. My goal is to keep getting better."
Wallace is having a busy spring. In addition to going to Junior Days and combines, he also lead the Red Devil basketball team to the 6A Elite Eight as a starting point guard. Although athletics are a big part of Wallace's life, he takes a lot of pride in his classroom achievements.
"My goal as a senior is to graduate in the top 10-percent in my class," said Wallace. "Right now I have a 3.8 GPA. On the football field my goal is pretty much everybody's goal, to win that state championship."
In the meantime Wallace continues preparing himself physically for a big final season in a Red Devils' uniform which could mean multiple offers.
"First and foremost I'm looking at the college's academics," said Wallace. "Then I look at playing time and the location. I'd prefer to stay in this area, but if the best opportunity presents itself somewhere outside of the Southeast, I'd be willing to go. I'm not sure when I'll commit. If it works out I may commit early because I could end up graduating in December."
Wallace wears No. 4 in football and basketball. He plays his home games at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in Phenix City, Ala.
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