Sir Calvin Wallace heard all about Dan McCarney and what he accomplished at Iowa State once he arrived at Tyler Chapel Hill before last season and got to know Jeremy Lloyd. Dan McCarney
Lloyd played for McCarney at ISU before becoming an assistant coach at Chapel Hill.
That connection gave Wallace the insight he needed to feel comfortable committing to play for UNT, which also picked up a commitment from Baton Rouge, La., Woodlawn defensive back Devante Davis this week.
Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day recruits in the Class of 2012 can sign national letters of intent is Feb. 1.
Securing a Division I scholarship was the latest step in Wallace's rapid rise as a college prospect. The 6-2, 290-pound defensive tackle played on the junior varsity team as a sophomore at Tyler Lee before joining the team at Chapel Hill.
Wallace posted 73 tackles, including nine behind the line of scrimmage, and three sacks in his first varsity season.
Lloyd, who lettered for ISU in 2001 and 2002, told Wallace about McCarney and defensive line coach Mike Nelson once UNT starting recruiting the Chapel Hill standout. Nelson was a member of ISU's staff while Lloyd was playing for the Cyclones.
Lloyd went on to play in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams.
"I'm really excited," Wallace said. "I met the coaches and really liked them. They are nice people, and what I hear from coach Lloyd is that they can help me get to the next level."
Wallace hopes to take a similar path as Lloyd, whom ISU signed out of Pittsburg, Texas.
"I can see how he went from nowhere to a big college and then to the pros while playing for coach McCarney and coach Nelson," Wallace said. "That helped convince me to go to North Texas."
Wallace was named the Newcomer of the Year in District 17-3A last season and chose UNT over offers from Prairie View A&M and Northwestern State. He was recruited by UNT linebackers coach Anthony Weaver.
Wallace could garner more interest following his senior season, Chapel Hill head coach Thomas Sitton said.
"He's a big kid who is very athletic," Sitton said. "He disrupts things in the middle, gets off blocks well and runs to the football. We expect good things out of him this year. There are not that many big kids in the state of Texas who can run. He has a lot of potential. The good Lord gave him a lot to work with."
Wallace is the second player from Chapel Hill to commit to UNT, joining running back Rex Rollins.
The opportunity to play for UNT's new coaching staff also was one of the reasons Davis decided to commit to play for the Mean Green early.
Davis (5-11, 173) was an all-district selection last season when he intercepted two passes.
"North Texas has a great system and is about education first, which I like," Davis said. "I will have a chance to be a part of a new era. North Texas is the underdog, but it is coming on. They are recruiting a lot of good players."
Davis was recruited by UNT as a safety but says he could also see time at cornerback, depending on the team's needs.
Davis was recruited by cornerbacks coach Justin Gaines.
No other schools had offered Davis a scholarship, but Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana Tech had shown interest.
"North Texas gave me an opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of," Davis said. "They feel like I should be able to play early like I wanted to and maybe start right away. They think I could be a four-year starter."
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org . NORTH TEXAS COMMITMENTS
The following is a list of players who have orally committed to sign with North Texas from the Class of 2012
Baton Rouge Woodlawn.
Oak Cliff Life School
Tyler Chapel Hill
Sir Calvin Wallace
Tyler Chapel Hill