Abilene Christian defensive standouts Ryan Smith and Mike Wallace were recently invited to play in the 2012 All American Bowl, which takes place Saturday, Dec. 22 at Mall of America Field at the Minneapolis Metrodome.
A defensive lineman, Smith finished his senior campaign with a career season best 51 tackles, five sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss, all of which ranked him among the Lone Star Conference leaders. One of his best efforts came in the season-opener vs. McMurry, in which he was credited with a sack among his five tackles plus two quarterback hurries. He later registered a season-high seven tackles in wins over Delta State and Angelo State.
Smith joined the Wildcats in 2007 as a redshirt and later had to miss all of 2009 due to injury. He returned to play nine games with one start in 2010 for an 11-1 team that earned a NCAA Division II playoff berth after capturing the LSC title.
In 2011, Smith earned Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors for a performance against Tarleton State that included 3.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks. He went on to finish his junior year with 37 tackles (19 solo) from the defensive end position, including 8.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks.
Wallace, a second team all-conference selection at outside linebacker, finished 2012 as the league leader with five interceptions. He picked off two passes in back-to-back games at Angelo State and Delta State and returned another 48 yards for a touchdown vs. Eastern New Mexico.
Wallace also finished among the conference leaders with 72 tackles, seven tackles for loss and six passes defended. He recorded his lone sack for an eight-yard loss vs. the Rams.
Wallace played in all 22 games for ACU the past two seasons after transferring from the College of San Mateo.
The All American Bowl is comprised of three separate games for different levels of competition, including minor league free agents in addition to FCS, D-II, D-III and NAIA college seniors. The first bowl game kicks off at 11:05 a.m. and the second follows at 2:05 p.m. A third game involving free agents and semi-professional players begins at 5:05 p.m. Bowl participants were recommended by coaches and later nominated by the All American Bowl Selection Committee and Football Scouting Bureau.
All American Bowl awards will be presented after each game including MVP (game and by position), as well as the Mick Tiglehoff and Jim Marshall awards for the outstanding offensive and defensive linemen.
Each roster consists of 42 players.
Information for this story provided by ACU Sports Information.