Hall on the Rise Entering Season Opener

DJ Hall didn't "jump out" to many people during the first few days of Alabama's fall camp. Yes, Hall looked good for a freshman, but so did many of the other Crimson Tide receivers.

"In the beginning it was kind of difficult for me, and kind of slow," Hall said this Tuesday afternoon. "Over time I adjusted to it."

Hall's adjustment came at the right time. By the time the Alabama squad put on full pads at the end of the first week of fall camp, and undoubtedly before any reporter took notice, Head Coach Mike Shula had taken notice or Hall's workmanlike effort. Hall led all receivers in the Tide's aired-out first scrimmage, catching four passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. His showing was impressive, but perhaps it was overshadowed by Croyle's sharpness and a magnificent catch by Tyrone Prothro as the topics of the day.

Then came the second scrimmage, where Hall caught five balls for 70 yards and two more touchdowns. His steadiness not only carried over from practice-to-practice, but from scrimmage-to-scrimmage. Instead of taking off like a rocket – straight up from the start – Hall's rise was like a missile, steadily climbing to the desired altitude.

"That's what I try to do the most. I try to be consistent," Hall said. "I don't want to go out and make one big play and then come back and drop the ball when it really counts, like on 3rd-and-10 or something. I just go out and try to be consistent."

Hall had two more catches in the Tide's final, shorter scrimmage, and by that time there was little doubt about who the squad's best new receiver was. The Fort Walton Beach, Fla. native ended with more scrimmage catches than any other player, and Hall looks poised for a productive year. But Hall was quick to counter on Tuesday when asked if he was ready to play – it wasn't game day yet.

"I wouldn't say I'm fully ready because we haven't kicked it off with any other team yet," Hall said. "I wouldn't know the effect of playing in front of 84,000 and a different colored jersey, but I'd say I'm pretty close to being there.

"I'm definitely going to be excited. My first time playing a college football game in a big stadium like that in front of a whole bunch of people I'm going to be excited. I'll be a little nervous too, because of the new environment. After the first couple of plays the butterflies will be all gone."

Hall will continue to prepare his mind for his debut right up until the Tide offense hits the field Saturday. Like his fall camp, Hall said his game day preparation will go through different phases leading up to kickoff.

"In the locker room I'm focused," he said. "My mind's just set on what I need to do. But when I'm on the field I get a little adrenaline rush and jump around a little bit, but you'll just have to see."

Hall said he didn't have anything special in store for the Crimson Tide fans, except for catching balls that come his way. If his fall camp is any indication, fans can look for Hall to improve his numbers each week.

"I really ain't no entertainer," he said. "I just want to pretty much get the job done." That will suit the Bama nation just fine.


BamaMag Top Stories