A quarterback is looked at to command the offense and establish himself as a leader both in the huddle and in the locker room. Sophomore Bo Wallace has done just that in his first season at Ole Miss. The Pulaski, Tenn., native has been welcomed with open arms to the football team and has taken over as the Rebel’s leader under center.
“I think he has done a nice job of gaining their respect,” head coach Hugh Freeze said. “There is no doubt that the kids have confidence in him, and they know he is a competitor and he is going to compete on every snap to make a play. Certainly, the last couple of weeks taking care of the ball and being productive offensively and moving us, particularly at critical times, I think that only adds to his leadership as others see him.
“I think he has done a nice job of it, but obviously he has to continue doing that and continue to take care of the ball like he has.”
On the year, Wallace has thrown for 1,371 yards and nine touchdowns and has also added 225 yards on the ground with five touchdowns. Not only has he led the Rebels offensively all year, but he has also been able to gain respect from his teammates and keep it as the season has progressed, a point he stressed as soon as he joined the team.
“I think I’ve done a good job of it,” Wallace said. “I think they kind of follow me and listen to me. I still have to be more vocal than I am. I think I’m really good at being vocal during the game, but also when we are out here lifting weights, or running, or things like that.”
Wallace’s determination to become a leader has also caught the eyes of some of the older players on the team such as junior corner Charles Sawyer.
“He’s not a talkative leader, but he does what he needs to do,” Sawyer said. “If it’s workout, he goes to workout. He is never late; he always shows up on time. On the field, he leads the offense to points, and before every game, he says if you guys stop them, then we are going to win.”
Wallace has also made it a point to talk to his teammates on offense to make sure that in an offense that is primarily based on reads, they are aware he is still looking their way.
“I tell them all the time, be ready right here, if we go back to that I might be able to come to you right here,” Wallace said. “I’m always going around telling them that this could be you on this drive.”
Wallace’s success this year has earned him the starting job, and he continues to gain the confidence of Freeze and his staff.
“He’s a quiet guy when it comes to his leading abilities, but I think he shows by his play that he is into it,” offensive coordinator Dan Werner said. “The players know that he understands the offense and is running the show and I think they are buying into what he is doing.”
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