Teammates for three seasons at the University of Alabama in the same defensive secondary, current Pittsburgh Steelers teammates Minkah Fitzpatrick and Levi Wallace spent a lot of time together in Tuscaloosa, winning a number of ballgames under legendary head coach Nick Saban.
Now, the two are teaming up again in the Steel City under future Hall of Fame head coach Mike Tomlin, aiming to replicate that college success.
After four seasons in Buffalo where he made 52 starts and was a significant contributor for a perennial playoff team, Wallace joins a secondary with a close friend, recalling the moment he told his close friend he’d be joining him in the Steel City. Sitting down with Mike Prisuta for Steelers.com, Wallace recalled the conversation and what Fitzpatrick means to him off the field.
“Yeah, that’s my guy. We’ve done Bible studies,” Wallace told Prisuta, according to video via Steelers.com. “We’ve talked every now and then. He actually called me the other day was trying to get me to come here and he didn’t know that I had already decided to come here. He was just calling me like, ‘Yo, like, what are you thinking? Like what’s going on?’
“And I said, ‘Minkah, you ain’t heard the news? I’m coming.’ And then I remembered that he wears 39 and I’ve been wearing 39 since college. He copied me cuz I looked so good in it. So I told him he could keep it for now.”
It’s great to hear that Minkah Fitzpatrick was out recruiting for the Steelers, especially with a former college teammate and close friend in Wallace, who fills a significant hole at cornerback for at least the next two years. Add in the fact that they’ve already played together, there’s already chemistry, which could make for an easier transition for Wallace from Buffalo to the Steel City.
Now the question remains: What number will Wallace wear in Pittsburgh?
With Fitzpatrick wearing No. 39 (Wallace’s number at Alabama and Buffalo), Wallace has to find a new number. It would be fitting if he turned around and chose No. 29 to flip the duo’s number combination at Alabama. It’s great to see the Steelers add a cornerback of Wallace’s makeup to the room too, especially as Fitzpatrick full takes over as the leader of the secondary in his fourth year in Pittsburgh.