UCLA linebacker Aaron Wallace as accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 23, giving him another chance to showcase his development as a senior.
Wallace had been a career reserve until this season, one in which he turned himself into the Bruins’ most productive pass rusher. He enters Saturday’s Foster Farms Bowl against Nebraska with a team-high seven sacks, a total that also ties him for third in the Pac-12 with Utah’s Kylie Fitts and Washington’s Travis Feeney. All but 1.5 of those sacks have come in the last six games.
On Tuesday, head coach Jim Mora described Wallace as arguably the team’s most improved and underrated player.
“He’s very quietly having a very good season,” Mora said. “You look at him and you go “That’s an NFL linebacker right there.” I think he’s got a future playing football. I really do.”
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker had originally been slated to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which will feature receiver Devin Fuller. UCLA center Jake Brendel is also slated to play in the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., though Mora said the senior lineman is an alternate for the Senior Bowl.