Once recruited by Texas, Wallace faces Horns this weekend

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Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace played for East Mississippi Community College before transferring to play for the Rebels, where he is 2-0 as the team’s starter this season.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

David Ash is now in the driver’s seat of the Texas offense. But Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace could have been the one starting for the Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium last weekend.

Wallace, a junior-college transfer, was recruited by Texas this winter but did not receive an offer. Now he is behind center for Ole Miss, which currently holds a 2-0 record.

Wallace and Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin spoke a few times, but he was not offered a scholarship. Harsin and Wallace’s conversations helped them get to know one another, but Harsin decided it was more prudent to work with Ash and Case McCoy.

“[We] felt like the direction we needed to go was with the guys that we have and stick with that,” Harsin said.

Harsin said there were some unanswered questions about the offense at that time when he was getting to know Wallace.

Ash, being a freshman at the time, and McCoy, a sophomore, still had a lot of time to develop. So Harsin stuck with his men and didn’t go with the quick fix.

“We decided and kind of sat back and looked at it again with kind of the big picture of where we are and where we were going, and we decided that what we had was the right thing to do and to focus on that and not get into something else,” Harsin said.

Ash wasn’t aware of Wallace’s recruitment but has been impressed by what he’s done so far this season.

“I didn’t really know anything about it,” Ash said. “From what I can tell you, he’s an outstanding quarterback.”

After beating out Barry Brunetti for the starting job at Ole Miss, Wallace has an average of 219 yards per game and completed 76 percent of his passes in two games. Ole Miss defeated UTEP 28-10 and University of Central Arkansas 49-27 the week before.

Last year at East Mississippi Community College, he led the team — of which Texas defensive tackle Brandon Moore was also a member of — to an undefeated season and set an NJCAA single-season records for passing yards (4,604), total yards (4,810) and touchdown passes (53).

Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is preparing his defense for what should be its toughest test yet.

“You can watch on tape what he’s doing when he carries himself,” Diaz said. “He can make bad plays, good plays for them. What he’s also doing is he’s not making bad plays disasters.”

Safety Kenny Vaccaro sees Wallace as a dual-threat quarterback. But because of the lack of a Longhorn offer, there’s something else that worries him.

“I’m sure he’ll have a chip on his shoulder,” Vaccaro said.

Printed on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 as: Wallace once recruited by Texas