Immediately after the draft, Rico Wallace received the call from the Carolina Panthers that he had essentially been waiting for his entire life. And with a quick negotiation, his professional journey begins.
I had the privilege of talking with Rico recently. The 6’3” 210 pound wide receiver from Division III Shenandoah wowed scouts throughout his collegiate career, capping it off with a senior season where he amassed 1241 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. He described the entire draft and signing process in one word: crazy. “It was such a crazy experience sitting around and watching the draft. Once it was over though and I received that call, I felt such relief and excitement to begin my professional career,” said Wallace. The Panthers’ scouts kept in close touch with Rico after his pro day and individual tryouts, so he knew that there was a very good chance they would be his destination. “I spoke with the offensive coordinator and he told me he thought that Carolina was the perfect situation for me and that I had a very good chance of making the 53-man roster,” Wallace explained.
Rico can really bring some fantastic talent and great size to the Panthers’ young offense (3rd youngest team in the NFL last season). “My great instincts really put me in the right position on the field. Plus I have great height that makes me a big target for the quarterback. I really want to make this roster and be that go-to guy at the receiver position,” Rico said. When it comes time for mini-camp, Wallace explained that he is going to dedicate himself to learning the system, plays, and getting to know the strength and conditioning coach very well. He really wants to learn from the receiving core that’s already in Carolina and fix any aspects of his game. Rico understands the challenge ahead of him to make this roster. “I just think to myself: same field, same opportunities. That’s the mindset I have right now. It’s all about work ethic and performing on the field. If you put those together, you can be successful.”
Rico impressed many at the Beyond Sports Network Collegiate Showcase as he put up some of the best testing numbers at the receiver position. He was also one of the top performers in the Showcase scrimmage as he hauled in 55 receiving yards and a touchdown pass. He was just one of the many players that were members of the BSN College Network (www.bsncollege.com) who were signed to professional teams. Rico was selected as a 1stteam Post Season All-American by Beyond Sports Network Collegiate Staff and was also selected number four overall in the 2012 BSN Mock Draft.
Learn more about Rico on his BSCN Profile Link