Staying Ready: K'Von Wallace Focused On His Preparation for Rookie Season
Uncertainty still hovers over the 2020 NFL season as the world continues to battle against the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the sporting world.
While some players have elected to opt-out of the upcoming season, former Clemson safety and Philadelphia Eagles fourth-round draft seledtion K'Von Wallace is using this period to ensure he's ready when his number is called. During a video conference call on Wednesday with 247Sports, Wallace talked about the preparation he’s taking for his rookie season.
"I got a family back home that is counting on me to do my job, so being sick will limit that, and the number one thing that you want to be in the league is available," Wallace said. "I'm trying to make sure I'm available at all times and I'm doing everything I can to limit those opportunities that will keep me away from the NFL."
Sometimes teams find a steal late the draft, and there is the belief that Wallace could be that type of an addition to an NFL roster. The former Tiger is one of five players picked on day three of the NFL draft that CBS' Chris Trapasso believes can make an immediate impact.
“Wallace will enter the NFL with a safety label but is truly a slot cornerback who occasionally carried out some free safety responsibilities in Clemson's defense. With 4.53 speed, Wallace is somewhat of a liability running in man deep down the field,” Trapasso said. “But his 38-inch vertical and quick 6.76 three-cone time translates to quick, explosive movements on the field, perfect for dealing with twitch slot receivers at the short and intermediate levels."
While it is easy to get distracted, especially as a rookie during these unprecedented times, Wallace is doing is best to stay engaged with those around him and fans from his hometown while also keeping his eyes on the prize.
"The community is so connected with social media. That's the best way I can communicate with them and be connected with my hometown because my hometown really made me who I was, and they helped me and supported me and motivated me every single day," Wallace said. "There's a lot of athletes there that get overlooked (in Richmond). I wasn't one of those athletes that got overlooked. I actually got my opportunity. I got my little shine and I'm thankful for them for always believing in me because, without them, I wouldn't even be here, so it's very important that I apply myself to the (social) media, so they know that I really care about them and to know that without them I would be nothing and know that they motivate me. I know there is going to be a kid looking up to me, to be the next K'Von Wallace, and I always tell them, 'Don't be the next K'Von Wallace, be themselves.'"
A two-time national champion and All-ACC selection, Wallace saved his best season for last tallying 72 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, and 10 pass deflections in 2019.
He was the 127th overall pick in April. Wallace was highly-regarded by his coaches leading into the draft and praised for his versatility and work ethic.
"K’Von Wallace is a graduate and was one of the most underrated guys probably in this draft," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said back in April. "He’s kind of a Swiss Army knife as well. He’s kind of like Marcus Gilchrist in that he can play either safety, he can play nickel, he can play dime, and he can truly play corner. He does all the dirty work and he doesn’t mind doing it."
Last season, he was credited with 81 tackles, 3 TFL, 10 pass breakups, 2 sacks, and 2 interceptions. He was named third-team All-ACC and once again made the ACC All-Academic team.
Wallace finished his Clemson career with 178 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 21 pass breakups, 5 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. He leaves Clemson tied for the most career games played with 59, matching the number set by Tanner Muse, Christian Wilkins, and Cannon Smith.