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Bowl Game the ‘Right Way to Go Out’ for Tylan Wallace

Tylan talks finishing his career.



These lower-level bowl games have become a rarity for NFL prospects to play in, but Tylan Wallace hasn’t bought into that.

Wallace will play in his last game for Oklahoma State on Tuesday when the Cowboys face Miami, and he might be the only player on the field in that game who will be taken in the next NFL Draft.

In the past few weeks, Teven Jenkins, Chuba Hubbard and Rodarius Williams have all dealt with injuries and decided to forgo this final game. Miami’s two star defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche have done the same.

But, though he has also dealt with injuries this year, Wallace is finishing his senior season.

“For me, it’s a kind of just a personal thing,” Wallace said. “To me, playing in the bowl game, for me, is the the right way to go out. I feel like I’ve put a lot into the program, and it means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to the guy. So, I wanted to go ahead and finish out the right way, in my eyes, to finish out the bowl game with them and spend the last the last game, last few moments and everything with them.”

Wallace didn’t play in the Cowboys’ regular season finale against Baylor after tweaking his knee against TCU. He missed the Kansas State game (minus a hands team showing) because of injury, as well.

Despite catching passes in just eight games this season, Wallace led the Big 12 with 877 receiving yards. Texas Tech’s Erik Ezukanma is second in the stat with 748 yards, but he has played in 10 games.

Wallace is far from bitter at the likes of Hubbard, Jenkins and Williams, though they made different choices. Wallace said he praises guys’ decisions either way.

“Guys make their own personal decisions,” Wallace said. “I think that’s them. It’s their life. It’s however they want to live it. So, if they want to opt out then I think that’s great for them. Everybody has different situations. I think I see it easily from either way or the other.”

But this has just kind of been Wallace’s MO. Wallace didn’t get to redshirt in 2017 despite getting limited reps behind James Washington, Marcell Ateman and Tyler Lacy. He has caught passes from five different quarterbacks in his four seasons. He chose to return for his senior season despite tearing his ACL as a junior when he already had enough film to get him on an NFL roster.

So, what’s one more game against Miami?

“He loves the game of football,” OSU offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn said. “So as far as what I’ve seen from him, I’ve seen the same guy. I’ve seen him just go back work again. It’s almost like [his ACL injury] never happened. You see him out there running routes and competing and playing. He’s a joy to watch. He really is because he plays so hard all the time and is a fantastic blocker, loves the game.

“That’s why he’s playing now. He probably has as much reason to opt out as anyone, but the guy loves playing football. He wants to be out here with his teammates, and there’s a lot of senior receivers here that he enjoys playing the game with. And this is his last opportunity to do it. 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.”

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