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Cowboys praise Wallace's role as student coach

OSU FB Practice March 11-0089.jpg

OSU's Tracin Wallace during an Oklahoma State football spring practice at Sherman E. Smith Training Center in Stillwater on Monday, March 11, 2019. 

Since they were children, Tracin Wallace and his twin brother Tylan competed alongside each other on the football field. 

Both dreamed about continuing their love for the game in college. Tylan grew into one of the best wide receivers in college football and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff award a year ago. Tracin, on the other hand, only played in two games at OSU.

Tracin previously tore his ACL in his junior and senior year at South Hills in Fort Worth, Texas. Then in September 2018, Tracin tore it for a third time during his redshirt freshman season at OSU.

After his fourth knee surgery, Tracin knew it was time to end his career. On June 6, Tracin announced on Twitter that he was retiring from football.

Tracin's career as a football player ended, but he continued to thrive as a member of the football team.

Landon Wolf, who rooms with Tylan and Tracin, saw first hand how Tracin did not let his injury overcome him.

"He's taken everything so well to the chin," Wolf said. "He's just so mature, so wise."

This season, head coach Mike Gundy has made Tracin a student coach. While he no longer puts on the football gear, Tracin attends all practices, meetings and games.

Tracin has also worked with associate head coach Kasey Dunn by making video cut-ups for the film room.

"He's working with all of (the players)," Gundy said. "He's doing the same thing our players are doing."

Although he'll never get to play football again with his brother, Tylan is glad to still have his brother on the team. During practice, Tracin helps Tylan stretch out before going into position drills.

"It's a little different, but it still feels really good to have (Tracin) out there," Tylan said. "Just knowing he's in the mix, mixing around with everyone and still coaching me up on things."

With two years left in college, Tracin is making the most out of a bad situation. Gundy said that Tracin wants to one day become a football coach. Once he graduates, Tracin could solidify his spot as an offensive graduate assistant.

Tylan and many of the wide receivers who Tracin works with closely agree with their coach.

"I can definitely see him doing that," Tylan said. "Especially the way he's out here just being so involved and practicing out here."

His playing days may be over, but Tracin's future in football continues in his role as a student coach.

"Seeing him be able to still contribute is awesome and I think he enjoys it," Wolf said.

sports.ed@ocolly.com