The next edition of our ‘five things to know’ series takes a look into the story so far of former Clemson Safety K’Von Wallace. In case you missed the pieces on Jalen Reagor and John Hightower, they’re linked below.
Wallace was selected in the fourth round by Philadelphia and is already being regarded as one of the bigger steals of the entire class. Here are five things you need to know with all quotes taken from his introductory presser.
Wallace may be slightly undersized at 5’11, 206 lbs, but don’t let that fool you. Wallace was a vocal leader on a Tigers defense that won two national championships and played anywhere they asked him. From nickel responsibilities to playing in the box as an extra run-defender, Wallace played everywhere. 50% of his snaps came in the slot as a senior, but he also had 2 sacks to his name along with 10 passes defensed.
Considering the Eagles are going to be without Malcolm Jenkins for the first time in forever, the presence of another versatile, hard-hitting DB will go some way in negating that loss.
What makes me a great safety is the fact that you just get multiple positions out of me. I can play corner, nickel, safety, in the box. I can go blitz for you. I can do anything for my team.
Put my best abilities in place to put my team in the best position to go out there and win games, win a championship.
I’m a guy that plays with passion, a guy that plays with a lot of heart, a guy that loves the game, a guy that’s going to do everything he can to get the upper hand on my opponents, whether it’s watching film or extra work after practice.
I’m just a guy that’s hungry and is going to go get it.
Wallace clearly has ‘Philly’ written all over him.
Tied a very important Clemson record
Believe it or not, Wallace actually tied Clemson’s record for the most games played in program history with 59. That in itself is massively impressive, but let’s not forget that only a few months ago, Howie Roseman stepped up to the podium and told reporters he’s not going to take big risks on players with an injury history. It’s about heart and durability from here on out, and it looks like Wallace ticks both boxes with ease.
The number one thing that just speaks out when you talk about all those games that I played, 59, it’s durability. And a guy that is just going to do everything he can to pre-hab. I’m a guy that does everything he can to rehab. Obviously, I had a bunch of nicks and bruises through my career, but I’m a guy that’s going to do everything he can to sacrifice and play.
I’m a guy that’s going to go out there and produce. I’m a productive player. I’m going to go out there and make plays for your team, make plays for your program, and I’m a guy that’s going to – in and out the locker room – just going to do everything I can to stay healthy, stay fit, and be ready to go.
A connection to an Eagles great
Getting a nod of approval from one of the most iconic players in franchise history is always a great way to make an impression on the city of Philadelphia. Eagles legend Brian Dawkins took to social media to welcome Wallace to the Birds, almost passing the torch to what well could be the next great Safety.
This game shortly after the presser where Wallace alluded to the fact that he shared a room with Brian Dawkins Jr. at Clemson, the son of Weapon-X.
I’m actually close friends with his son. Me and his son were roommates my first two and a half years together in Clemson. I met him throughout the whole process. They’re like family. My mom knows his mom very well. They communicate here and there.
But just we never really talked much football. We just talk about life and our spiritual selves, because he’s a man of God first, and he just always wanted his son and I to be happy in The Word and to be driven spiritually because that is where your passion comes from and football always takes care of itself when you have the right things in place.
Interned with the NFL
Believe it or not, Wallace actually interned with the NFL prior to being drafted. That in itself is ‘intern’esting, but there’s one man in particular that Wallace mentions who will perk a few ears.
Just getting the inside of what the NFL program is actually like, just the behind the scenes. The officiating to see how they make calls and go through what they go through; the setup; the radio stations; the youth development, about the community.
I learned so much just being there for the NFL front office. Just meeting all the greats there, [Commissioner of the National Football League] Roger Goodell, [Executive Vice President of Football Operations at the National Football League] Troy Vincent, and learning from them and them giving my knowledge.
Wallace actually worked under another Eagles great in Troy Vincent. He also interned at Cisco and his takeaways from the experience are very impressive.
I also did an internship at Cisco, learning from them about technology and how software goes in our community in the world going on. Just trying to expose myself to the corporate world and get a feel for how it is to wake up and go work at a 9:00 to 5:00.
It’s clear that Wallace has a good head on his shoulders and is very aware of his situation and life after football. Taking such steps to prepare and get an experience in other avenues at such an early age will do wonders for his character in later years.
K’Von wasn’t the player drafted by the Eagles who has competed in a National Championship game. Quarterback Jalen Hurts, who was taken in the second-round, actually played against Wallace in his first Natty win. That wouldn’t be the last time that the two communicate, however. When asked about his views on the former Oklahoma and Bama QB, Wallace was beyond complimentary.
I just remember a guy that is just a competitor. He’s just like me when it comes to playing better when the lights are on. You just look at his championship pedigree, his championship swagger, the games he played in, the big games. He always shined. He was a guy that went out there and competed. He didn’t run away from competition. He’s a guy that I know that is genuine. I met him for the first time at the Senior Bowl, and he was a guy that just very genuine, big-hearted guy, well-spoken guy, educated guy.
He actually DM’d me when I got the call just congratulating me. He’s a good friend of mine for sure.
The two appear to have built up a bond over the last few months and will now play for the same team. It will be interesting to see if this bromance is the next ‘Goedert and Maddox’ level tandem on the team.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports