Father says picking UK was best decision Wallace has ever made

Published 9:41 am Saturday, October 7, 2023

By Larry Vaught

Contributing columnist

Kentucky junior linebacker Trevin Wallace has been playing at an all-Southeastern Conference level this season and has been among the conference leaders in quarterback sacks. He’s also the team leader in tackles for loss and second in total tackles.

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“I am not surprised by anything he does or has done,” said his father, Trevor Wallace. “When he puts his mind to something he is going to do it. He gets focused on what he wants to do and does not let anything stop him.”

That’s one of the many qualities former Kentucky assistant coach Jon Sumrall saw in the four-star Georgia prospect, who had an interception in last week’s win over Florida, when he beat a lot of Power-Five schools to get Wallace to the Bluegrass.

“I have coached Trevin my whole life. He saw how I related with coach Sumrall. He saw I trusted him and looking back it seems like the best decision he ever made (to come to Kentucky),” said Trevor Wallace, who still texts, calls and visits Sumrall.

Trevor Wallace coached his son from the time he was 5 years old until he got to high school. He recognized the special athleticism and skills he had and “would not allow him to be average” because he realized how talented he was.

“I pushed him harder than I pushed anybody else. He never backed down. He wanted that extra hour and a half of work and I gave it to him,” Trevor said. “When he first started playing, I told him he needed to master every position. I made him play everywhere. He accepted it with honor. We might have bumped heads a few times, but he did the work.”

One of those head-bumping times came when Trevin was 11. He got tackled one-on-one in an all-star game and his father did not think that should have happened.

“I told him until you show me more you can sit on the sideline and watch. He was crying and everybody (at the game) was booing me for not playing him. When the light came back on, he went back in and the rest is history,” Trevor said.

Trevin Wallace was ranked as high as the nation’s No. 35 prospect by 247 Sports after playing a variety of defensive and offensive positions at Wayne County High School in Jesup, Georgia. His younger brother, Tavion, is a 6-1, 209-pound junior linebacker, who is a top 50 player in his recruiting class. He already has offers from  Florida State, LSU, Georgia, Southern California, Florida, Arkansas, Ohio State, South Carolina, Kentucky and others.

He has listed his top nine schools of Georgia, Florida, LSU, Kentucky, Florida State, South Carolina, Auburn, Louisville and Arkansas.

Trevin, 21, and Tavion, 16, always “messed with each other” growing up but their father said it was more Trevin teaching his younger brother how to be better than he is.

“Tavion is more athletic than Trevin was at the same age. He told everyone his brother is better than me,” Trevor said. “Tavion’s best thing is on defense at outside linebacker. He can be a threat at receiver because no corner can keep up with his speed. I think he’s faster than Trevin.”

Tavion is “loving” the recruiting process and his father said it’s like a dream come true for him because of the work he put in just like his older brother did. He’s been to Kentucky obviously to watch his brother play but has also taken several other trips where he got to hang out with UK defensive coordinator Brad White.

“The last 2½ years we have been up there every Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We stay in Kentucky a lot,” Trevor said. “But Tavion knows we all want him to go where he feels he fits best and can succeed. We will be behind him.”

The Wallace family will be in Athens, Georgia on Saturday to watch Kentucky play No. 1 Georgia.  However, it will not be a recruiting trip for Tavion despite having an offer from the home-state Bulldogs.

“The Georgia game is something special for me and him (Trevin). We live in Georgia, and we do not like Georgia. This game has a different meaning,” Trevor said. “Tavion will be there with us and he will have his blue on. They (Georgia coaches) know how we do it.”