Track star Wallace could be 2007 sleeper

The WIAA Division 1 champion in the 200 meters, Marcus Wallace (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) of Germantown High School is the No. 8 football prospect in the state of Wisconsin, according to

Marcus Wallace, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound class of 2007 football prospect at Germantown (Wis.) High School, turned heads at the recent Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association track and field championships. With a strong summer and senior season on the gridiron, Wallace could translate his athletic ability into scholarship attention in football.

Wallace won the Division 1 200 meters in 21.94 seconds, anchored Germantown's state-champion 1,600 relay (3:17.37) and anchored the third-place 400 relay (42.77).

Even before the state meet, Wallace's name was prominent on the state honor roll. He ran a 10.7-second 100 meters in April and a 22.10 200 at a regional meet in May.

"As soon as his times posted a lot of people seemed to get interested," Germantown football coach Phil Datka said in a telephone interview last week. "So we'll see. He won the 200 now in the state so I'm sure the interest will be even better now."

According to Datka, Wallace has not received a scholarship tender yet, but Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Wyoming, Division I-AA South Dakota State and Illinois State, Ivy League schools Yale and Harvard and Division II North Dakota, among others, stopped by Germantown during the spring evaluation period. "They all want him to go to their camps," Datka said.

Wallace started on defense last season, bouncing between defensive end, linebacker and safety. He played sparingly on offense.

"He's so athletic I think we tried to plug him in at a bunch of different positions," Datka said.

"He was very good," Datka added. "He's grown probably about an inch since last year. We played him at a number of different positions, so he played a variety of roles for us. Obviously his impact is going to probably be even more important now that he's blossoming as he is."

Wallace will most likely play free safety defensively this fall. "Offensively we're not quite sure where we're going to use him," Datka said. "He could be a receiver, he could be a running back and he could be a quarterback."

With his size and athletic potential, Wallace likely projects to defensive back in college, but that could change depending on how he plays offensively this fall. He will also have the opportunity to impress college coaches in summer camps. "I know he's going to Wisconsin," Datka said of Wallace's camp plans. "I'm not sure which other ones."

Datka said he was not sure what kind of interest Wallace is receiving from track programs, but he knows that the Badgers would like him to try his hand as a decathlete. At the Germantown Invite April 11, Wallace ran a 10.8 100 in preliminaries, then recorded his 10.7 in the finals. He also won the 200 that day with a 21.8, anchored a winning 400 relay (43.4) and placed second in the shot put with a throw of 50 feet.

Of course, the question with most prominent track athletes/football prospects is whether or not they are genuine football players.

"He'll be fine," Datka said. "He was on all our special teams and he flies down there. There's no fear. He can catch the ball… There's a lot of things — we even thought of him as a tight end.

"He'll be fine. He's a basketball player too. He's athletic, he's coordinated and he's obviously fast. And he's big. He's a big kid."

Wallace was an honorable-mention all-conference basketball player last year; he averaged 7.0 points per game, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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