OSU football: Is Tylan Wallace even better than he was last year?
STILLWATER — At first, it looked like it would be an interception. If anything, it should have been an incompletion.
It became — even after intense video review by officials — a reception by Oklahoma State receiver Tylan Wallace.
The pass from Spencer Sanders first was touched by Wallace as he reached over McNeese State cornerback Calum Foster. Then the ball hit Foster’s shoulder, got knocked into Wallace’s chest, pinballed between the two players and ultimately ended up in Wallace’s hands.
Fans waited for the official review to make sure he got his feet inbounds, and watched the replays in amazement over and over on the Boone Pickens Stadium video board.
Maybe we shouldn’t be wowed by anything the Cowboy superstar receiver does anymore.
Or maybe we should. He still is.
“I make plays all the time that, really, at times, I didn’t even think I could make,” the 6-foot, 185-pound Wallace said with his familiar humble grin.
Wallace will try to continue his ridiculous beginning to the season when OSU visits Tulsa at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at H.A. Chapman Stadium.
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One wacky catch doesn’t make you one of the most feared receivers in the country.
After finishing in the top three for the Biletnikoff Award last season, Wallace seems to have found another gear this season. And that might be the scariest part.
Three of his five touchdowns have been on short or intermediate throws where he caught the pass and beat the defender, or defenders, for long runs. Of his 272 receiving yards, 208 have been after the catch, most of anyone in the nation through two games, according to Pro Football Focus.
“He looks faster. Maybe he’s faster,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “The male human body develops up ‘til 27 years old, so maybe he’s gotten a little stronger and a little faster.”
If you add that to the list of skills that made him one of college football’s best wideouts a year ago — strong hands, leaping ability, body control, focus and coordination in traffic — Wallace is going to see his NFL stock continue to rise as a draft-eligible junior.
Some mock-draft websites hardly acknowledge that he has another year of college, should he choose to use it, simply throwing his name in with the other potential 2020 draft picks.
And the talk will only get stronger if he continues to have the kind of season he’s having so far, with five touchdowns on 10 receptions.
But all that NFL stuff is well down the road for a season that has only begun. Wallace stays focused on the present.
“I’m just going out there and playing football,” he said. “I just keep it simple and play football how I know how to play.”
OSU at TULSA
When: 2:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: H.A. Chapman Stadium
TV: ESPN2 (Cox 28)
Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1