Cornerback Levi Wallace, a former walk-on from Tucson amid all of top-ranked Alabama’s five-star recruits, is having himself a heck of a season.
Wallace, a Tucson High graduate, intercepted two passes on Saturday night, returning the first 35 yards for a touchdown, in the Crimson Tide’s 66-3 destruction of Ole Miss.
His interception for the first non-offensive score of the season for Alabama, which lived off such plays last season.
“It was a great feeling. We’ve been wanting to do that all week,” Wallace told reporters after the game, talking about his defensive touchdown.
“All the DBs talk about it, saying how no one on the team has gotten a pick-six yet. I’m just glad that I was in the position to get the interception, and then I had great blockers in front of me. It’s the whole team effort that helped me get into the end zone.”
On Monday, Wallace was selected the SEC Defensive Player of the Week.
“It’s a great privilege,” he told reporters Monday (see below).
Wallace, a senior who earned a scholarship last fall, has started the past four games for Alabama, entering Saturday night’s game with nine tackles, one interception — in the season-opener against Florida State — and a team-high six pass break-ups.
He’s sharing a secondary with All-American Minkah Fitzpatrick and other top NFL Draft prospects such as safety Ronnie Harrison and speedsters Anthony Averett and Tony Brown. But it’s Wallace with the cool nickname. His fellow defensive backs have dubbed him “The Technician.”
Wallace walked-on in 2013 but didn’t play until last season, especially playing well when injury and an ejection had him in the lineup against rival Auburn at the end of the regular season. He made 11 tackles last season and was once chosen Alabama’s Special Teams Player of the Week.
How did Wallace, who had no FBS scholarship offers out of high school, end up making the team as a walk-on for the program in the country? He has family in Alabama, and his late father, Walter Wallace was a Tuscaloosa native who imparted his love of the Tide to his sons. Levi’s younger brother, Lawrence, has competed in the long jump at Alabama.
“He’s come a long way for us, and he’s doing a great job for us,” Fitzpatrick said of Levi after Saturday’s game. “I’m really happy for him. He keeps getting better week to week and it shows.”