EATONTON, Ga. — Gatewood senior Weston Wallace found somewhere a lot closer to home to play college football than originally planned.
Formerly a Colorado State University commit, the Gator big man found himself looking for a new college home after CSU fired head coach Mike Bobo in early December. One door closed, but another opened as he was offered a preferred walk-on (PWO) spot with the University of Georgia program last month. Wallace accepted, so he will now trade his green-and-gold Gatewood “G” garb for some red and black.
His PWO status means he will not be offered a scholarship his first year, but what he will have is the opportunity to work and train with one of the country’s top college football programs and possibly earn a scholarship down the road.
Wallace shared with The Union-Recorder that his relationship with the UGA program was really jumpstarted when he attended a camp there last summer. There he was evaluated by the coaching staff who, like most coaches, were a little apprehensive about his film since he comes from a small private school competing against smaller competition. Once the coaching change was made at CSU Wallace reopened his recruitment and took an unofficial visit to Athens last month. It was then that he met new Bulldogs offensive line coach Matt Luke, who has already made a big splash with the program in just a couple months, and ultimately left with a PWO offer.
“We had a great bond and I just loved the coaching staff. I also love how close it is to home, so I knew it was the place for me… This means a lot. It’s my home state team, so anytime I can represent my state it’s a great opportunity. I just want to show that people from private school and tiny schools like Gatewood can play with the big dogs up at the University of Georgia.”
At 6-feet, 5-inches tall and over 300 pounds, Wallace certainly looks the part of a Division I offensive lineman. He played both sides of the line of scrimmage during his four years at Gatewood, a tenure he completed as a two-time football state champion (2018 and 2019), two-time All-State honoree (2018 and 2019) and one-time runner-up (2016). Wallace also helped the Gators to the GISA AA boys track state championship last spring as he was crowned state champ in the discus while finishing third in the shot put.
“I’m so proud of Weston,” Gatewood head football coach Jeff Ratliff said. “He’s got a big opportunity… I think he ultimately landed at the school he wanted to be at. It’s always been a dream of his to play at the University of Georgia. Even though he’s got a tough road, I know that he’s going to roll up his sleeves and go to work like he’s done for us the last few years.”
Asked what head coach Kirby Smart and University of Georgia football are getting in him, Wallace replied, “The hardest worker in the room and just an all-around great person. I might not be the most athletically gifted, but I'll be able to work hard and hopefully they’ll get a good football player out of me and definitely a great teammate.”