Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Florida at Kentucky
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Will the Bucs hunt for another big-time athlete at linebacker?

As the Bucs face a significant changing of the guard at the inside linebacker spot, it’s certain they’ve done their homework on prospects at the position.

Someone who should definitely stay on their radar is Kentucky’s Trevin Wallace. With former UK head coach Liam Coen on staff, the team will have some added intel on the freaky athlete. Let’s learn more about him.

TREVIN WALLACE’S COLLEGIATE CAREER

A 4-star recruit coming out of high school in Georgia, Wallace didn’t really flourish in football until his senior year but wowed with his sheer athleticism displayed in other sports. He won the state weightlifting championship with a power clean of 335 pounds, and he was a four-year letterman on the track & field team with a school record in the long jump (23 feet, 4 inches) and PRs in the 100 meters, 200 meters, high jump, shot put, and 110-meter hurdles.

He received many Power 5 offers and originally committed to Boston College before flipping to the Kentucky Wildcats, becoming their No. 1 overall recruit of the 2021 class.

He played all 12 games his freshman year and tallied some strong stats despite only 1 start — 32 total tackles (4 for loss), 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defensed, and touchdown off a blocked kick. He earned All-SEC Freshman honors for his efforts.

His sophomore year saw him start 6 games, recording 54 total tackles (5.5 for loss), 2.5 sacks, 2 passes defensed, and 2 interceptions (led the team). He started every game his junior year as a team captain and continued to improve with 80 total tackles (8.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defensed, and 1 interception.

After forgoing his remaining eligibility, he accepted an invite to the 2024 Senior Bowl and fully participated in practices and the actual game.

PRO DAY AND SCOUTING COMBINE

Wallace proved to be one of the most athletic prospects, regardless of position, at the NFL Combine this year. He’s a little undersized, measuring in at just 6-foot-1 and 237 pounds, but he does possess good length (nearly 33” arms with a 79 3/4” wingspan).

He posted excellent running numbers with a 4.51 40-yard dash (1.62 10-yard, 2.66 20-yard), as well as fantastic jumps (as to be expected with an elite T&F jumper) with a 10-foot-7 broad jump and 37 1/2” vertical.

He passed on doing agility testing and the bench, but he did perform the latter at Kentucky’s Pro Day on March 22. He benched a very solid 20 reps at 220 pounds. With a mostly complete Relative Athletic Score, Wallace graded out as a top 100 linebacker athlete since 1987.


Next Gen Stats produced a similarly rosy grade, as its composite athletic score of 86 placed him 3rd amongst all linebackers who attended the combine.

It’s worth noting that NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed that Wallace took a 2-day visit with the Bucs last week.

WHAT WALLACE CAN DO FOR THE Bucs IN 2024

Wallace is the type of dynamo who will be hard to keep off the field totally in his rookie year.

Despite having plenty of growth to do on the mental side, Wallace is twitched up and explosive to function as a blitzer from the get-go (third on the team in pressures last year and 5.5 sacks). Given Bowles’s well-known love for exotic pressure packages and feisty linebackers, Wallace would absolutely fit in.

Wallace is aggressive and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the trenches, which could help with him getting some run down work (though K.J. Britt excels in this area), but even then Wallace has the smoothness and sheer giddy up to range from sideline to sideline (which Britt lacks).

Wallace has plenty of special teams snaps (412 in three college seasons), which will help him stay active on game days as a “core 4” special teamer early on.

THREE-YEAR OUTLOOK

Wallace is not going to be a starter in Year 1 unless the group is ravaged by injuries (to be fair, that did happen last year to Tampa). Simply put, he’s got big strides to make when it comes to general play recognition and anticipation.

It will give Bucs fans some deja vu, as these are the exact same problems that got Devin White in trouble for basically his entire tenure. To be honest, they’re not totally dissimilar as prospects; Wallace is like the discount version.

But Wallace will carry the benefit of not having the expectations of a top 5 overall pick, nor will he need to play right away to justify the team’s investment. He will sit, he’ll be implemented in situations that best suit him, and he can come along at a more leisurely pace with the hope of being good enough to start in years 2 or 3.

Strong reports on character, work ethic, and an ability to diagnose basic keys work to Wallace’s benefit as he assimilates into a complicated scheme.

STOCK REPORT

Wallace is generally regarded as late-Day 2, early Day 3 pick.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Louisville at Kentucky
Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler checks in as one of Wallace’s most prominent believers, as the analyst ranks Wallace as his third-highest LB prospect in the class (86th overall). He had this to say:

“Overall, Wallace has an attractive collection of traits for today’s NFL. However, the parts are better than the whole at this point and pro coaching will need to get him across the finish line.”

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein echoed similar sentiments, grading Wallace as a 5.95 on his scale — an average backup or special teamer. He too expressed concerns about Wallace’s consistency and overall ability to diagnose and execute at an NFL level.

Finally, Bleacher Report’s Matt Holder regarded Wallace with little aplomb. Holder graded him as his LB12, putting him as a sixth-round value. He sees Wallace assoft at the point of attack without the necessary traits to make up for deficiencies in the run and pass games.

ON THE CLOCK…

What say you, Bucs Nation? Would you like to see Trevin Wallace come in as a project player to be an heir-apparent for Lavonte David? Let us know in the poll and comments.

By admin