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Could Prototypical Texan Garret Wallow Start At LB?

As he pushes for first-team reps, Houston Texans linebacker Garret Wallow continues to impress on and off the field.

If you were to envisage the ideal Houston Texan based on the personality traits general manager Nick Caserio and head coach Lovie Smith preach - you'd end up with second-year linebacker Garret Wallow.

A publically quiet individual with a great locker room presence, a natural leader, a hard worker, and seemingly endlessly driven, Wallow was a real surprise his rookie year playing in every game as a core special teamer. Eventually, the fifth-rounder impressed on defense, snatching his chance to impress and going as far as to record 11 tackles and a sack in just one game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

When asked what his expectations for this season are, Wallow's focus was unsurprisingly selfless.

"Main thing is just to be a factor for the team, right," Wallow said. "You always want to be a factor, make plays for the team and do whatever you can for the team, right. Another thing is just be consistent every day, good day or bad day. Just be consistent and bring that same energy and enthusiasm every day."

Wallow's focus might be on being a contributor wherever he can, but he may end up forcing himself into the starting lineup at his current rate.

Not that he was willing to speculate.

"There’s a lot of great guys in the room, great competition going on right now," Wallow said. "The main thing is just coming in every day for everybody and just being consistent and just let everything take care of itself."

The long list of those who have been impressed by the TCU product this year includes none other than Caserio who heaped praise on him back in June.

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"Garret Wallow's probably done as well as any player on the team from the time that he walked into the building to where he is in the Spring," Caserio said. "I mean, he's learned all three linebacker positions, he has a role in the kicking game, he's made strides in the weight room, he just looks like a different player."

His teammates' work ethic hasn't gone unnoticed, given fellow linebacker Christian Kirksey's comments on Wallow earlier in the summer.

"He's only in year two but he seems like he's been in the league for five/six years," Kirksey said. "He's very smart, he picks up the game fast, he plays fast, he can play any linebacker position on the field whether it's mike, will, or sam he can plug himself in and be of an impact on this defense." ... "He showed me some of his offseason routines and workouts that he was doing and [let's] just say he was working his butt off."

So, where does Wallow believe he's improved his game since last season? Again, unsurprisingly, he attributed much to others supporting him.

"I would just say, mentally on the field, just being a lot quicker, reading things a lot quicker and that comes with being in the system for a second year," Wallow said. "Physically, working with Mike (Eubanks) all season and the whole strength staff has helped me change my body around and just help me get in better shape for year."

The Texans emphasize a team-first mentality, versatility, and a love for the game. Wallow exemplifies each of these qualities. Combine this with an impressive rookie year, and an equally eye-catching offseason and Wallow could be set for a big sophomore season.

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