After an injury to Clemson safety Tanner Muse at the midway point of last season, questions loomed about the depth of the Tigers’ secondary and if anybody could step up and fill the role.
K’Von Wallace answered those questions with a resounding “yes,” starting the final five games of the season, as the Tigers finished fourth among FBS programs in pass defense in 2017.
Wallace recorded 36 tackles on the year with an interception in his six starts and 14 games of action. The interception sealed Clemson’s win over NC State in a key Atlantic Division during the Tigers’ run to a third straight ACC Championship.
The sophomore safety is excited to showcase his abilities in Saturday’s annual Orange & White Spring Game and show off the strength of the Tigers’ secondary.
“We’re only getting better, we are learning,” he said. “This is a new team we’re to learning to play with each other.”
As Wallace moves into his junior year he is transitioning to a leadership role among the secondary, a role he believes he was born to fill.
“I was made to be a vocal leader. I want to lead this team to a championship,” he said.
It is no secret Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables coaches with intensity, just watch him on the sidelines calling plays. Wallace is no stranger to hard-nosed coaching and knows it is coming with the right motive.
Venables has been very critical of the secondary, and the defense as a whole, all spring.
“He’s hard on us but we learn from it, respect him and take it how it is,” Wallace said. “My high school coach taught like that and he was a father figure to me. It’s a family. He loves me and I love him.”
The Clemson defense still has a sour taste in its mouth from the way last season ended and Wallace says they are coming out with unfinished business in 2018.
“We are a whole new team coming in like dogs and lions ready to attack,” Wallace said. “I feel like we are the best defense in the country, hands down.”