When defensive backs coach Mike Reed asked K’Von Wallace what position he would like to play, the Richmond, Va., native referred back to a conversation he had with former Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley last fall.
“Before he left, Cordrea and I talked, and he told me I should move to boundary corner before I leave to just see how that was,” Wallace said.
So when Reed asked the rising sophomore during their end-of-the-year meeting what he might like to do, Wallace said he wanted to give boundary a shot. In Brent Venables scheme, he likes to leave the boundary corner on an island by himself going up against the best receiver on the other team.
For most, it can be a daunting task, so Venables likes to have a guy on the boundary who is confident in his ability and has the right attitude to compete against receivers like Deon Cain or Diondre Overton … tall and physical receivers.
“Overall, it is the best position to go and compete and it is the hardest position,” Wallace said after Friday’s practice. “I feel like I’m a great athlete so to be in that position to go and compete with those big physical receivers, I feel I am a physical guy. I have the knack for it and competing is why I play the game.”
Tankersley felt Wallace had the knack to do it as well.
“It was because of the way I competed in the one-on-ones,” Wallace said. “I’m a loud and talkative person so the wide receivers are going to hear me every time we play. They are going to hear me. He liked it.”
And Wallace is backing it up, too.
In Wednesday’s scrimmage, he and the rest of the cornerbacks got after the wide receivers, especially in goal-to-go-situations. Wallace knocked away a couple of passes in the scrimmage and was winning on the 50-50 balls.
“That is why I play the game … to compete,” Wallace said.
Wallace is not only competing against guys like Cain and Overton for the football, but he is also competing against Ryan Carter, Mark Fields and Trayvon Mullen for the starting job.
“It is great to go out there and compete and getting better every day,” Wallace said. “It is great talking to my teammates and letting them talk to me and encouraging me. Like Ryan Carter, he is always teaching me. Just being behind him, he is a great competitor and a great leader, and is teaching me the ropes.”
Carter is teaching Wallace all the coverages and where his run fits are at. Wallace has also spent a lot of time in the film room trying to catch up as well. The soon-to-be sophomore says playing corner is different than playing safety, which is what he primarily played last season as a reserve.
“There is a lot more responsibilities. There are a lot more fits,” he said. “You have a lot of double moves and responsibilities like that. You have to read the quarterback. You have to read the receiver. Reading the tackle, just stuff like that.”
We are taking orders for our limited edition magazine Mission Accomplished. Remember Clemson’s championship season with this great magazine from the staff that covers Clemson football 365 days a year. Order your’s today to make sure you get a copy!