The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will, once again, take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2021 season.
#16 KJ Wallace, Safety
KJ Wallace committed to the Irish on January 28, 2018 as a member of the 2019 recruiting class. Wallace chose the Irish over offers from Auburn, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford, and Wisconsin, among others. Per 247Sports Composite Rankings, Wallace was a 4-star prospect. He was ranked as the 30th best cornerback, the 30th best player in Georgia, and the 295th best overall player in the class of 2019. Wallace attended Lovett School, and his hometown is Atlanta, Georgia, He currently stands 5’ 10’’ and weighs 189 pounds.
As a freshman in 2019, Wallace saw action in 4 games, recording 1 tackle against New Mexico. During his sophomore campaign, Wallace remained buried on the defensive back depth chart and struggled to find meaningful playing time. He shifted from cornerback to safety during the 2020 campaign, playing in 4 games. Wallace’s most impactful contest came against South Florida where he recorded 3 total tackles.
The Restaurant That Fits
McDonald’s is a versatile place. Though their menu is solid enough to draw people in for all 3 meals, it is hardly anyone’s go-to option. Similarly, Wallace isn’t a standpoint on defense or special teams. With that said, he does have the chance to become a core special team player and may earn a role on defense.
Wallace presents a bit of intrigue for the upcoming season. His athleticism makes him an ideal candidate to work his way onto the coverage units for special teams. On defense, he is currently working at the Stud safety position behind Houston Griffth. Presumably, DJ Brown will slide back to Stud once Kyle Hamilton returns from injury. Thus, there does not appear to be a prominent role at safety for Wallace. Interestingly, Wallace seems to be pushing TaRiq Bracy in a bid to start at the slot cornerback. Whether or not he claims a starting position, Wallace is a quality depth piece to have in the defensive backfield.