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How a conversation and a Wagyu steak led Josh Wallace to Michigan

The new Michigan CB details a pivotal dinner that convinced him to come to Ann Arbor.

Massachusetts v Northwestern Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Much of Michigan’s concerns in the secondary have to do with losing second-round draft pick DJ Turner to the NFL. While there are several players who have been with the program for a while ready to step up to fill that role, it’s becoming more clear the player most likely to take many of the available snaps is a new face to the program.

Josh Wallace transferred to Michigan as a grad student from UMass this offseason. Now, before I’m reminded for the billionth time that UMass doesn’t face the same level of competition as Michigan, Jim Harbaugh already said Wallace is a top-four corner on their roster. Will Johnson has one side of the field locked down and we’ll likely see Mike Sainristil play a decent amount of nickel, leaving Wallace, Ja’Den McBurrows, Myles Pollard and Keshaun Harris to battle for the CB2 — as well as Amorion Walker when he comes back from his undisclosed injury.

Wallace’s transfer doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed playing time, so Maize n Brew asked him on Wednesday what factors weighed into his decision to join the Wolverines.

“I would say it’s really the players on my visit,” Wallace said. “Mike [Sainristil], Rod [Moore], Quentin [Johnson], Makari Paige, they were all out at dinner and they kind of convinced me to come here. That was the best situation for me.”

Since arriving on campus, he’s developed a unique connection with Mike Sainristil.

“He was just my roommate in the hotel, so we were getting here at the same time and since I’ve been here, really, we’ve just been going over to plays together and just getting me caught up. So really, (he’s) like my brother,” Wallace said.

While he said the connection his former head coach Don Brown shared with Michigan after serving as its defensive coordinator from 2016-20 didn’t play a role in his committing to the Wolverines, a former Michigan linebacker on his Brown’s staff in Mike McCray did.

“(McCray) told me a couple of things when Michigan reached out,” Wallace said. “He said it’s a great program, you know, he was a captain here. So he kind of gave me the insights, but he talked to me.”

While all these factors seem to have helped Michigan land who is now its most experienced cornerback, one has to wonder if the Wolverines mainly won this recruitment based on the dinner Wallace mentioned earlier. No, not the conversation he had during the meal, but the meal itself, which was a first for the grad transfer.

“We went to a place downtown called The Chop House, and it was my first time that they put me on to the Waygu steak,” Wallace said. “So, yeah, I never had one before until that day.”

Now that he’s had a taste, I don’t expect that to be the last time Wallace has Waygu. I also don’t think this will be the last time we’ll hear his name, as he seems to be in a position for serious playing time to start the season.

Do you think he has the chops to transfer his skills to the Big Ten? Let me know in the comments.