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Passing the test
JCSU's Wallace sheds pounds, gains confidence
Published Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:03 am
by Herbert L. White


Statistics cant measure whether Keahn Wallace is the CIAAs best quarterback.

Johnson C. Smith quarterback Keahn Wallace has shed weight to improve his mobility for the 2013 season. The sophomore set single-season school records for completion percentage (62.9) and yards (2,280) in 2012.

A championship would.

The Johnson C. Smith sophomore is the league best returning passer after setting school records for completion percentage (62.9) and passing yards in a season (2,280) while tossing 22 touchdowns. But hes more interested in leading the Golden Bulls to a conference title than statistics.

I havent been able to win a CIAA championship, he said. As long as I can do that and get to the D2 playoffs, then I can really say Im the best one in this league.

Wallace is in the best physical condition of his career during spring drills. Hes dropped 15 pounds to weigh in at 215 and plans to get to 210 by August when fall practice starts. I want to get light on my feet, be able to make plays in the open field, he said. I just want to help my team out, give them another option.

Wallaces mental approach has improved as well through improved study habits and their application it on the field in JCSUs up-tempo offense.

Hes showing good signs of turning his step up, Golden Bulls coach Steve Aycock said. Hes making better reads, you can tell hes been in the film room. Were still trying to get a whole lot out of him with tempo of the game. The offense moves fast and thats what were expressing to him right now getting the tempo set.

With eight offensive starters returning, JCSU has the nucleus to improve on last seasons 31.3 points per game clip. To accomplish it, Wallace wants to build chemistry during spring drills, especially with the receiver trio led by CIAA all-rookie pick Fred Scott (47 receptions, 610 yards, six touchdowns).

I want to be able to put my receivers in position to catch and run, Wallace said. (Improve) my drops, make sure I get them the ball where they need it on time and force them to turn their head a little quicker. Thats going to expand our offense that much more.

Wallace also benefits from a second straight season working with offenisve coordinator Steve Shipp, which provides him  a level of comfort they started to develp in the second half of 2012 when Wallaces productivity improved with his decision-making.

The concepts didnt change, Aycock said. The only thing that changed was the tempo of the offense. Hes been doing a pretty decent job so far this spring.

By applying last years lessons to the offseason drills, Wallace is determined to put himself and JCSU in position to compete for a CIAA title in the fall.

Theres always room for improvement, minus the turnovers and just make sure I become a better leader, he said. At the beginning of (last) season, I started off throwing interceptions. In the second half of the season, I eliminated it.



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