Inside the BRD: Daily Press Defensive Player of the Year Schekel Wallace of Lafayette to play for CNU

The Daily Press All-Stars Football Defensive Player of the Year will play offense in college.

Lafayette High star Schekel Wallace said Friday that he will attend Christopher Newport University in the fall and play running back.

While perhaps best known as one of the most bruising linebackers in the state, as evidenced by his selection to the first team of all three Group 3A all-state teams, he was plenty accomplished as a running back.

Wallace, a 5-foot-8, 240-pound senior, ran for 925 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2013 in helping Lafayette finish 12-1 and reach the 3A state quarterfinals.

He said CNU will use him in the offensive backfield much the same way Lafayette did.

“Coach (Matt) Kelchner said that a lot of their backs are kind of small and they need someone to carry the ball on the third-and-short and goal-line situations,” said Wallace, who was credited with 120 tackles and two interceptions last season. “It’s really a great thing to play (at CNU) because I really do love the sport.”

While his talent is undeniable, Wallace was not heavily recruited because of his size. A better-than-3.0 grade-point average student with an eye toward a computer engineering or computer science degree, Wallace had indicated recently that he would have no problem attending college as just a student.

A visit to CNU and discussion with Kelchner clinched his desire to focus both on academics and athletics in college.

“Coach Kelchner is a good guy,” Wallace said. “He came to school and talked to me, and seemed to care about academics more than football.

“Christopher Newport has a winning tradition and I liked everything about the school. The football team is like a family on and off the field.

“It didn’t matter whether I played running back or defense, but I’m glad they want me on offense because I enjoy running the ball.”

Lafayette football coach Andy Linn said, “Coach Kelchner said he thought Lafayette was the best high school team he had seen play this past season. I told him he’s getting our best player.

“Schekel is an unbelievable kid and great football player. He’s one of those kids you want to see keep playing.”

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