Josh Wallace, Wolverine

Josh Wallace, Wolverine

June 7, 2023
(image via Twitter)

UMass transfer target Josh Wallace has committed to Michigan. He picked Michigan over offers from Iowa, Oklahoma, and Virginia Tech.

Wallace was listed at 6’0″ and 190 lbs. last season for the Minutemen. He’s a two-time captain and started 34 games over parts of four seasons. Last year he made 41 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 8 pass breakups.

Hit the jump for more.

Originally a 3-star recruit in the class of 2019, he’s using his COVID exemption to gain one extra year of eligibility to come play in Ann Arbor. Former Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown was Wallace’s head coach last season, and former Michigan linebacker Mike McCray was a member of the defensive staff in Amherst.

I have watched very limited film on Wallace because nobody watches UMass games, and it’s even tough to find useful highlight reels from their games, let alone on individual players. One of Wallace’s interceptions came against Buffalo, but the other one came against FCS Stony Brook. Overall, in what limited amounts I have seen of him, I don’t see anything noteworthy. He has decent size and is a solid run defender, but his speed and ball skills are unexceptional.

This does not change my opinion much about Michigan’s cornerback situation, which is precarious. I think Amorion Walker looked bad in the spring game, and Wallace would have looked better, but not great. Walker clearly has more upside since he’s faster and is 4″ taller, but Wallace has a ton more experience. Michigan has improved its pass rush with off-season moves, and they’re going to have to get to the quarterback more frequently, because D.J. Turner II won’t be blanketing fast receivers on the back end.

On the plus side, Mike Macdonald and Jesse Minter – Michigan’s last two defensive coordinators – have shown a willingness to adjust scheme more than Don Brown did. While Brown had corners that kept getting cooked in man coverage but he still kept running man, I believe Minter will adjust his coverages if Walker and/or Wallace can’t keep up. Will Johnson is obviously the #1 corner, and then Walker and Wallace can battle it out for the #2 spot, with nickel corner Mike Sainristil also factoring in (whether he moves to the outside or just helps out in the slot).

Wallace is the eighth transfer Michigan has landed this off-season, by far the most significant transfer haul in program history.

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