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January 3, 2012The quarterback situation for the Texas Longhorns has been a virtual roller coaster ride over the last 12 months.
Four quarterbacks competed for the starting spot up until the final week of the pre-season. Connor Wood transferred to Colorado after he fell down the depth chart in the days before the season opener. Returning starter Garrett Gilbert won the job, only to be benched in week two. Gilbert would announce his plans shortly after to transfer. David Ash and Case McCoy would each spend time as the starter at the position over the course of the 2011 season, with neither player taking complete control and separating from the other.
It was an up and down year for the Texas QBs, and there was no right answer at the position no matter where the Longhorn coaches turned. With two scholarship signal callers currently on campus, and two more set to join the program as part of the 2012 recruiting class, there is some young talent in the fold. But the problem for Texas is that there are no real proven commodities.
On Tuesday night, the UT coaches took the first step towards plugging the gap and adding some experienced talent to the QB competition. Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin spoke with the nation's top junior college QB, Bo Wallace, and things are moving along at a rapid pace.
"He (Harsin) talked to my coaches last week I think. He said they were trying to see how Case (McCoy) and (David) Ash played in the bowl game," Wallace said. "McCoy didn't really play. He said when we talked that he wanted to get a gauge on my interest and everything that's going on.
"The whole situation, being Texas, they go straight to the top. If I'm coming on a visit, I'm really excited about it."
Wallace is planning to talk to Harsin tomorrow and his intentions are to put the finishing touches on a UT official visit. The East Mississippi Community College product will head to Indiana for an official visit on Wednesday. From there he'll fly into Dallas and make his way to Baylor immediately after that trip and he's hoping to go straight from Waco to Austin on Saturday to visit the Texas program.
It's been a whirlwind ride for Wallace, who also picked up an offer from Mississippi State on Tuesday. There will be no opportunity for downtime over the next week, but Wallace is thankful for the opportunities that are presenting themselves.
"It's better than the alternative," he said with a laugh.
Ole Miss is still under consideration (Wallace visited Oxford in December) and he'll try to make a quick decision after his upcoming slate of visits so he can enroll at the school of his choice in mid-January.
Wallace earned 2011 NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2011 after leading Eastern Mississippi C.C. to a national championship, setting an NJCAA single-season records for most passing yards (4,604), total yards offense (4,810) and most touchdowns thrown (53). In the Lions' national championship game, he threw seven TD passes for the fourth time in his career. Wallace redshirted at Arkansas State in 2010 and will enroll at a Division I school in January with three years of eligibility remaining.
Also a state champion in high school while playing at Giles County High School in Pulaski, Tenn., Wallace is planning to carry on his winning resume at his next college destination.
"I'm just a competitor. Going back to high school, I've been lucky enough to win a lot of games," Wallace said. "I consider myself a winner. We had good stats this year but it wasn't' about the numbers. It was about winning games and winning championship, and that's what I plan to do wherever I go."
About the Longhorns, Wallace said there's a lot to like.
"It's Texas. It's one of the biggest programs in college football," Wallace said. "Growing up, watching Colt, VY (Vince Young), even back to Simms, I've always watched Texas when they're on TV. I like they're whole program."