Tomorrow will be one final ride for a Cowboy great.
OSU fans will get to see Tylan Wallace play one more game tomorrow afternoon in the team’s bowl game against Miami.
The theme for the last few years has been star players opting out of bowl games to get ready for the draft, but in typical Tylan Wallace fashion, he decided he wanted to go out in a way he felt was right.
“He probably has as much reason to opt-out as anyone, but the guy loves playing football, and he wants to be out here with his team, and this is his last opportunity to do it,” offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn said. “So I have a ton of respect for the fact that he's going to be out there on Tuesday playing that game with us and sharing those moments.”
Wallace has been enjoying those moments this entire season, a season that he chose to come back for after a season-ending injury last year.
If it weren’t for a torn ACL last October, Wallace would probably be playing on Sundays right now. But the injury raised some doubts about his ability to stay healthy, so he chose to come back to prove the doubts wrong.
He has done exactly that.
“(I) feel like I've kind of proven that the ACL injury hasn't really affected me too much and I think it just felt right,” Wallace said. “I'm really happy that I did that, and I was able to go out the right way with my team.”
Not only has he come back and put up a good season to restore his draft stock, he looks like he hasn’t skipped a beat.
In some cases, knee injuries can linger and cause problems long term, but when watching Wallace, it looks like the injury never happened.
“I've seen the same guy,” Dunn said. “I've seen him just go back and work again. It's almost like it never happened. You see him out there running routes and competing and playing and he's a joy to watch, he really is, because he plays so hard all the time.”
When looking back on his decision to come back, Wallace said he has no regrets. Even though the season didn’t go as planned for the team, just like with his decision to play in this bowl game, he felt he wanted to do the right thing.
“I wanted to make sure that I felt like I was doing the right thing, and I was very happy, very grateful to make that decision, and I'm happy that I made that decision,” Wallace said.
Coach Mike Gundy has been outspoken in the past about not wanting players to leave before they are ready.
Although Wallace was probably ready last year, the injury was a major setback that he decided he wanted to get over before going to the next level, it has paid off and now he gets one last game before moving on.
“Tylan has done himself wonders individually for his career with the year that he's had this year, and we're excited that we have him in the bowl game and he still wants to be a part of our team and compete,” Gundy said.