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Alabama Football Film Room: Levi Wallace shines

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Wallace didn’t get the start, but he played strong.

Alabama v Florida State
Levi Wallace
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Levi Wallace didn’t get the start at the outside cornerback spot vacated by now-Baltimore Raven Marlon Humphrey. That fell to former four star recruit Trevon Diggs. Wallace started his career in Tuscaloosa with much less fanfare. He was a walk-on from Tucson, Arizona, though he was a fan of the Crimson Tide because of his late-father Walter Wallace, a native of Tuscaloosa.

Unsurprisingly, Wallace saw no playing time as a freshman or sophomore; but he proved himself worthy and earned a scholarship before the 2016 season. He saw action right away against USC and proved to be a quality back-up all year.

Wallace remained a back-up through the offseason and until the 2nd quarter against Florida State when he stepped in for Diggs, and he was outstanding.

1st and 10: FSU has one wide receiver and two tight ends bunched on the right of their formation. Francois gets the snaps and hands off to Cam Akers for an outside run. Auden Tate tries to cut Wallace, who manages to shrug it off and stay on his feet. Wallace isn’t able to keep Akers contained, but he does force him to keep stretching the play sideways rather than getting upfield. This allows Minkah Fitzpatrick to keep going outside, and he trips Akers up for just a 1 yard gain.

3rd and 14: Wallace is at the bottom of the screen on the outside receiver. He initially turns to match the receiver downfield, but he realizes that’s a feint. Keith Gavin stops and comes back towards Francois for the quick screen, and Wallace reacts quickly. The slot receiver is in no position to provide a block, and Wallace is all over Gavin as the pass gets there. He holds him up a yard behind the line of scrimmage, and Rashaan Evans joins in to finish the tackle.

2nd and 7: Alabama has finally started to open it up, scoring 11 points in a matter of just a couple minutes. The pressure is really on for the Florida State offense, which hasn’t been able to do much of anything this half.

Deondre Francois is in shotgun with his running back to the left. He has his tight end on the right side of the line and two receivers wide right. Wallace is the outside corner at the bottom, and Minkah Fitzpatrick is the star on the slot receiver. Francois just tries to force something here.

Wallace backpedals for just a step or two before turning, just in time to see Francois throw it to his man. The cornerback is now in between the ball and the intended receiver. Wallace jumps and makes an easy interception, the first of his career.

2nd and 4: FSU has trips right, and Wallace is at the top of the screen playing way off the line. He watches his receiver and sees his cut on the in route. Wallace gets right in his chest and easily knocks away the quick pass. Beautiful coverage.