K’Von Wallace finally will get an opportunity to play college football at Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium, just not for the team he grew up expecting to.
The Virginia native went to camps at Virginia Tech early in his high school career hoping to earn an offer from the Hokies and was disappointed when that didn’t happen.
He ended up choosing Clemson on Signing Day in 2016 and is now a key member of the Tigers’ secondary. Wallace is anxious to get a shot to face the Hokies on Saturday.
“They were the school that I wanted to go to in ninth and 10th grade,” Wallace told The State. “I feel like I have a lot to prove, not just here but definitely to that school. I want to show them that I’m a great player and prove them wrong and prove this team right.”
Wallace’s recruitment blew up late in the process when he received offers from Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan State and others in the weeks leading to Signing Day.
Virginia Tech finally offered, but at that point, it was too late.
“It was like a smack in the face,” Wallace said. “I felt like they should have been one of my first offers. They came in after Clemson. I felt like they really didn’t want me.”
The Hokies hired Justin Fuente as their coach in November, and he scouted one of Wallace’s playoff games. Wallace was expecting an offer, but it did not come until a couple of months later.
While Virginia Tech brought in a new head coach, defensive coordinator Bud Foster remained on staff, so it’s not as if the Hokies were unaware of Wallace.
He expects to have several friends and family members in the stands on Saturday.
“I’m trying to get at least 20 people there,” he said. “Having a lot of those family members there and them seeing me for the first time and contributing to the team is really special.”
Wallace played mostly on special teams as a freshman but has been a versatile member of Clemson’s secondary through four games in 2017.
He has eight tackles and a pass breakup while splitting time between corner and safety. Wallace worked at cornerback during the spring and preseason camp but has played mostly safety this season, including starting against Auburn when Van Smith was out with an injury.
Wallace is moving back to cornerback for this weekend’s game because Marcus Edmond, Mark Fields and Trayvon Mullen recently sustained injuries. The status of those three for the game is unknown, but Wallace believes he is ready to step up at cornerback if needed.
“I know all the positions on the field. I’ve shown my versatility,” Wallace said. “Coach (Dabo) Swinney and coach (Brent) Venables always stressed playing many positions because you don’t know who could be hurt… Showing those coaches that I can do those things is what helped me play as a true freshman.”
Who: Clemson (4-0) vs. Virginia Tech (4-0)
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Blacksburg, Va.
Radio: 93.1 FM
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