By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – It may be hard to find a silver lining in shoulder surgery, but Bo Wallace has found his.
The Ole Miss junior quarterback is coming off January surgery and expects to be cleared to participate in voluntary summer workouts the first week of July.
He has worked to regain strength in the shoulder and the school has gotten a clearance from the NCAA to allow a coach – offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Werner – to monitor his progress.
“Coach Werner can be out there to watch me just so that my mechanics stay the same and I don’t re-injure myself, or something like that,” Wallace said. “That’s been really helpful for us.”
Wallace said his mechanics are as good as they’ve been during his time at Ole Miss, and that’s due in part to the surgery.
The shoulder was originally injured when Wallace took a hit at Tulane in the season’s fourth game.
He played through the pain for the remainder of the season. As the pain grew he tried to compensate on the field, and that threw off his mechanics.
“I think they’re a lot better than last year, he said. “With the shoulder injury my release got longer toward the end of the season. My mechanics were really bad toward the end of the year.
After winning a fall competition against Barry Brunetti, Wallace threw for 2,994 yards and 22 touchdowns but also threw 17 interceptions.
He was awarded the Conerly Trophy, given annually to Mississippi’s top college football player.
As a second-year starter, Wallace wants to improve on his decision-making, which led to a number of the interceptions in 2012. He attributed some to the shoulder and trying to hit windows he had hit earlier last season when it simply became too painful to hit them again.
“I think maybe with the shoulder injury it may have helped me a little bit this year as far as not wanting to take those chances,” he said. “I’m excited to start camp and start throwing, improve on that decision-making and go out in the fall and be a better quarterback.”
For now Wallace watches the voluntary workouts and answers questions from the freshmen.
It’s much the same role he had during spring drills.
“I think the mental reps slowed the game down for me so that when I get out there and I’m physically doing it the game’s going to slow down,” he said. “I think I’ll be a lot better with the ball this year.”