Philadelphia Eagles News

K'Von Wallace is on a mission and the next stop is Philadelphia

It doesn't take long to realize that K'Von Wallace is confident in his abilities and is on a mission to showcase them to the masses.

Merely moments after the Eagles selected him with the 127th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Wallace took to social media to let the world know what kind of player the organization and its fans were getting.

According to Wallace, he is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to defensive back play. Although he was drafted as a safety, he says he can play both corner and nickel. Need an extra blitzer? Wallace can do that, too. Need someone to bring fire and swagger? Wallace has got that covered in spades.

Wallace is ready and willing to raise the bar in Philadelphia and is not shy in letting everyone know about it.

"I'm a guy that's hungry," he said after being drafted. "I'm a guy that's a competitor and I'm going to compete. I'm going to fight you until I get what I want. That's just the type of guy that I am."

That hunger Wallace speaks of is the reason why he has made it from a three-star recruit coming out of high school to the NFL.

"The Eagles know what they're getting with a type of guy like me," Wallace said. "I'm a guy that's going to do anything I can to put my team in the best position to win and I feel like the best way to do that is to become a starter and become a huge fit and role on special teams."

Don't get it confused, though. Wallace is more than willing to earn his stripes and knows he must do that by listening to and learning from the veterans in the locker room, which the Eagles have plenty of.

But after listening to Wallace tell his story, it is clear that what he speaks is not bluster and false bravado. It is a burning desire that has been instilled in him by his mother, Roxanne Barnes, who raised him as a single parent so that he could become the first in his family graduate high school. It was also instilled in him by a pair of former Eagles defensive backs who turned into mentors thanks to chance encounters.

It is Wallace's mindset, which includes hard work, determination, leadership, and, above all, winning, that sets him apart.

Before Wallace could become a winner on the field, however, he had to win off the field, which was not easy growing up in public housing in Richmond, Virginia. While others succumbed to the pitfalls that surrounded them, Barnes taught Wallace and his sisters the importance of education and hard work. She led by example by working three jobs at one point, which took up so much of her time that she missed some of her son's high school games.

"What set me apart was my mom. She really instilled in me that I had to be different," said Wallace, who was a part of two National Championship-winning teams at Clemson. "Just graduating high school wasn't good enough for her. She wasn't satisfied with just doing that. She was really going to be satisfied when I graduated from college. She told me when I graduated from college in December 2019, no matter what I do, she's happy whatever I do, whatever decision I make. If I stop playing football forever, she's going to love me as if I won a Super Bowl."

"She always instilled hard work into me, and she always kept me safe, out of harm's way, and with the help of God she did that all on her own," he added.

Once Wallace went to Clemson, there was only so much she could do from afar. Fortunately for Wallace, he found another mentor in the form of Eagles legend Brian Dawkins. Dawkins is arguably the best football player in Clemson history, as he is the only player in program history ever to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

As expected, Dawkins' presence looms large over the program, especially for defensive backs like Wallace. However, Wallace got to know Dawkins personally through his roommate, Brian Dawkins Jr.

"They're like family to us," Wallace said of the Dawkins family. "My mom knows his mom very well. They communicate here and there."

"We never really talk much football," he added. "We talk about life. We talk about our spiritual selves because he's a man of God first. He just always wants his son and I to be heavy on the word and to be driven spiritually because that's where your passion comes from. Football will always take care of itself when you got the right things in place."

Wallace went on the tie a program record for games played with 59 and played more than 1,000 snaps. While Wallace took bits and pieces from all of the game's great defensive backs, what he took from Dawkins was how to be in tune with himself mentally and spiritually. The same could be said about one of Dawkins' former teammates, close friend, and current NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent, whom Wallace met while interning for the NFL.

"It was rarely football when it came to both of those guys," Wallace said of the Eagles Hall of Famers. "I actually sat in Troy's office and talked to him for hours."

"We just talked about life," he added. "Just how to become a better man, better person. He's a family-oriented guy. Loves his family, loves his wife, loves his kids."

Between his junior and senior years, Wallace increased his level of focus on and off the field. The result was having his name called on draft day.

"Just eating better, doing better, more film, more work. Just doing more. I felt like that's when I made my big jump, stride, and that's why I feel like the Eagles pulled the trigger on me in the fourth round," he said.

Wallace will meet a new set of mentors in the Eagles' locker room. Ones who will instill in him what it means to don an Eagles uniform and play for the greatest football community in the world. He is ready to take those lessons, install them into his mindset, and show everyone why the Eagles made a good decision in selecting him.

"Being in the NFL, you're playing in front of millions every game, and I feel like that's when I play my best," he said. "So you're going to get the best performance, everything just great about who K'Von Wallace is as a player, especially when the pressure is on. I feel like every game is going to be pressure, that big light, that big opportunity to go out there and show and prove yourself."

"I feel like I'm going to be that guy to go out there and prove myself every single night in practice and on gameday," he added.

Related Content