Levi Wallace just might be the best story in college football.
The Alabama senior, a former walk-on from Tucson High School who earned a scholarship last season, was selected Monday as one of 13 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back.
We’ve written a little bit about Wallace’s journey before, and his success this season, when he broke into the starting lineup amid a cast of five-star recruits and preseason All-Americans, just keeps getting more remarkable.
— David Kelly (@DavidKellyTNN) October 21, 2017
He has three interceptions and leads Alabama in pass breakups with nine. His 12 passes defended leads the SEC. Wallace also has 23 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks for a unit that leads the nation in total defense (236.0 yards per game). Both of his sacks came last week against Tennessee, when he had a career-best six tackles.
Wallace earned first-team honors on the Associated Press’ midseason All-American team.
His way-more-famous teammate, do-it-all defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, is also a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award. Here is the full list:
Marcus Allen, Penn State
Quin Blanding, Virginia
Jalen Davis, Utah State
DeShon Elliott, Texas
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Grant Haley, Penn State
Derwin James, Florida State
Jeremy McDuffie, Duke
Parry Nickerson, Tulane
Justin Reid, Stanford
Dominick Sanders, Georgia
Levi Wallace, Alabama
Denzel Ward, Ohio State