Syracuse football linebacker depth will take small hit if Juan Wallace leaves

Syracuse football reserve linebacker Juan Wallace Jr., who has entered the transfer portal, will reduce the Orange’s depth at that position if he departs.

Juan Wallace Jr., a reserve linebacker with Syracuse football who hails from Washington, D.C., said on Monday that he will enter the transfer portal, although he does have the ability to come back to the Hill if he chooses.

The 6-foot-2, 227-pound Wallace, a three-star prospect in high school, is a rising junior who played in 11 contests for the Orange during his sophomore campaign, primarily as a member of the kick-off return and punt-coverage units, per his bio on cuse.com.

Wallace, who overall has suited up in 24 games for Syracuse over two stanzas, saw spot duty on defense as a sophomore, tallying seven tackles, including two that were solo.

He did play a role on an Orange punt-coverage crew that, in the most-recent term, ranked fifth nationally in punt-return yardage defense (1.7 yards per return) and set the school’s single-season record for the fewest punt-return yards allowed (17), says cuse.com.

Prior to entering college, Wallace attended H.D. Woodson High School in our nation’s capital and then the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. As a senior at IMG, he collected 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks for a group that went 8-0 and ranked No. 2 in USA Today’s Super 25 poll, according to cuse.com.

In the 2018 recruiting cycle, the 247Sports Composite slotted Wallace as the No. 42 inside linebacker across the country, and the No. 170 guy in the state of Florida. He held numerous high-major offers, per the 247Sports Web site, including from squads like Duke, Georgia, Iowa State, Maryland, Temple, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Syracuse.com noted in an article on Monday that “Wallace was not listed on the Orange’s two-deep depth chart heading into spring practice as Tyrell Richards and Geoff Cantin-Arku headed up the initial hierarchy.”

Despite that, the story also says, “This fall, Wallace was expected to be one of many SU linebackers competing for playing time in first-year defensive coordinator Tony White’s 3-3-5 system. Syracuse has graduated its starting ‘backers for a third year in a row, leaving a group with few proven entities.”

It’s totally understandable that Wallace may want to head elsewhere, if that means he will receive more minutes on the field. After entering into the portal and analyzing his other options, should Wallace not return to the Orange, it will inevitably decrease the team’s depth at linebacker, but it won’t prove a total calamity for the ‘Cuse.

Wishing Juan all the best no matter what he ultimately decides to do!

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