OSU football: How does Tylan Wallace stack up against the Cowboys' greatest receivers?
FORT WORTH, Texas — On Saturday morning, Oklahoma State receiver Tylan Wallace will run onto a football field that sits roughly four miles from the high school stadium where he and his twin brother, Tracin, became stars.
South Hills High is just a few minutes’ drive — you guessed it — south of TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium, where No. 15 OSU will face the Horned Frogs at 11 a.m. Saturday.
And it seems fitting that one of Wallace’s final college games will come so close to home, because before long, football is going to be taking him from one coast to the other. He’ll be wearing colors other than orange and black, representing some NFL franchise that is lucky enough to select him in the draft next spring.
Wallace has been the ultimate representative of the Cowboy culture coach Mike Gundy has worked to instill in his program.
“In my opinion, he has made our football team much, much better from his competitive leadership standpoint,” Gundy said. “Our team has followed his willingness to perform at a high level.”
But beyond that, Wallace has been one of the best receivers to ever play at the home of great receivers.
His statistics already say as much.
With at least two games remaining in his OSU career, Wallace is fifth on the career receiving yardage list with 3,297 yards. That gives him a shot at catching Hart Lee Dykes (3,510) and Justin Blackmon (3,564) before he’s finished.
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He has 192 receptions, also ranking fifth all-time at OSU, and 25 touchdowns, which ranks sixth. His 17.17 yards per catch ranks third, behind only Adarius Bowman (17.22) and James Washington with a ridiculous 19.79-yard-per-catch average for his career.
And Wallace has piled up all his stats essentially playing just 2½ seasons. The pandemic cost him a couple games this year, and he missed one because of injury. He lost five games last year when he tore his ACL in late October.
His true freshman season of 2017, he played in every game on special teams, but was buried on the depth chart behind four players who have played in the NFL — Washington, Marcell Ateman, Chris Lacy and Tyron Johnson. Wallace caught only five passes for 118 yards that season, which is the equivalent of an average game now.
From his sophomore year — when he probably should’ve won the Biletnikoff Award — until now, he has never caught fewer than four passes in any game he’s played, and he has averaged 113.5 yards per game.
During that time, he has averaged 6.68 receptions per game, which would top Blackmon’s 6.66-catch average for OSU’s career best. Including his freshman year, Wallace has averaged 4.68 catches per game.
While he might not finish with the overall numbers of Washington, or be a first-round pick like Blackmon and Rashaun Woods, Wallace still brings unique characteristics to the field that set him apart from other Cowboy greats.
In particular, his competitive catches in crucial situations, and ability to fight the ball away from defenders.
“He’s special when it comes to taking the ball at the highest point,” Gundy said. “He’s a great leaper, but he also has a gift of going up and rebounding a football that’s unlike many players we’ve ever had here in my 16 years as a head coach.
“He’s been a joy to be around and a joy to coach.”
Scott Wright covers OSU athletics, especially football. You can send your story ideas to him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @ScottWrightOK. Support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.
OSU career charts
1. Rashaun Woods, 293
2. Justin Blackmon, 253
3. James Washington, 226
4. Hart Lee Dykes, 224
5. Tylan Wallace, 192
1. James Washington, 4,472
2. Rashaun Woods, 4,414
3. Justin Blackmon, 3,564
4. Hart Lee Dykes 3,510
5. Tylan Wallace, 3,297
1. Rashaun Woods, 42
2. Justin Blackmon, 40
3. James Washington, 39
4. Hart Lee Dykes, 31
5. Dez Bryant, 29
6. Tylan Wallace 25
Yards per catch
1. James Washington, 19.79
2. Adarius Bowman, 17.22
3. Tylan Wallace, 17.17