Just watch Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace on Saturdays and you’ll see that he plays with a chip on his shoulder.
That’s literally what the Rebels signal caller coped with for most of last season after separating his throwing shoulder early in the season and playing with the injury for the rest of last season.
The 6-foot-4, 210 pound redshirt junior from Pulaski, TN completed 235-of-368 for 2,994 yards, 22 touchdowns, ran for 390 yards with eight touchdowns and 17 interceptions all after initially injuring his shoulder in the second game of the season at Tulane and re-aggravating the injury against Arkansas.
Wallace is now recovering from shoulder surgery in January. His focus is to bring the Ole Miss program and himself back to shape after being out for spring camp after he was not cleared to resume throwing a football until May.
The junior’s well-being is going to be crucial if the Rebels want to improve on their 7-6 mark from a season ago. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze says that Wallace has worked this summer on a quicker release in the pocket, better throwing mechanics, and his decision-making under duress. Wallace is also looking to cut down on turnovers after throwing a league leading 17 interceptions last season.
If there is any quarterback in the SEC that will be more important to the success of their team, it is Bo Wallace. The Rebels have no experience and options at quarterback other than Wallace. Ryan Buchanan, Devante Kincade and Barry Brunetti have all been unproven in Freeze’s spread attack in Oxford. Wallace has no doubt solidified the position after his play last season and his work this offseason on better ball security and decision-making.
The only question that remains is whether or not Wallace can prove his doubters wrong like he did last season and his college career.
Nobody in college football had ever heard of Wallace before last season. He was a two-star quarterback coming out of Pulaski, TN, who only received offers from Arkansas State, Tennessee Martin and Tennessee Tech.
He signed with the Arkansas State Red Wolves and transferred out after his first season in Jonesboro. The quarterback position had been maintained by Ryan Aplin, who had won first-team all Sun Belt that season. Wallace knew that if he wanted to start it wouldn’t be with the ASU program.
Wallace then went on to play at East Mississippi Community College and became one of the best junior college quarterbacks in 2011, throwing for 4,604 yards, 53 touchdowns, winning the NJCAA national title game with seven scores.
After that dynamic season as a passer, Wallace came to Oxford to play for his former offensive coordinator at Arkansas State, Hugh Freeze. Nobody expected him to start over Brunetti or win seven games and go to a bowl after the media picked the Rebels to finish last in the SEC West last season.
Wallace surprised the doubters as part of a offense that averaged 423.8 yards and 31.5 points a game last season.
The Rebels return 10 starters on offense, with great targets Vince Sanders, Donte Moncrief, Ja-Mes Logan and freshman Laquon Treadwell at receiver. Senior Jeff Scott returns at running back and kick returner for the Rebels.
It will be very tough for Bo Wallace to exceed his success from last season after coming off shoulder surgery this offseason, but the Rebels understand their success this season is going to be riding on his right shoulder.