Introducing the 2004 Class: Max Hall

Having family members play for ASU is probably enough of an enticement for a recruit to decide on donning the maroon and gold. Thus, it would stand to reason, that Max Hall, Wilford "Whizzer" White's grandson and Danny White's nephew, would have committed to the Sun Devils without any hesitation and perhaps under some family pressure. However, the quarterback told DevilsDigest that the decision to play for ASU was not a slam-dunk one, and was made without any burdening influences.

"There was never pressure towards ASU," said Max Hall who was named all-Arizona quarterback by The Arizona Republic. "It's a cool thing that my grandpa and uncle went to ASU, but it really didn't play a part in where I wanted to go to school. That was up to me and what I wanted to do." Furthermore, the signal caller stated that the ASU coaches rarely brought that topic up when recruiting him. "We probably talked about it a little," he said, "but they never said ‘your uncle and grandfather's numbers are up at Sun Devil stadium, you need to come to ASU.' Just like my family, there was no pressure."

As a member of one of the best high school programs in the state, Mountain View, Hall naturally received an early look from coach Koetter and his staff, even though (at least according to Hall) it may have not occurred by design. "The first time ASU looked at me, and I don't think they were looking at me (smile), was at spring practice after my sophomore year," recalled Hall who lost one game in 28 starts at quarterback. "I was introduced to coach Nordquist, and I thought it was coolest thing in the world that a coach from a school like Arizona State, where my uncle and grandfather played, was talking to me."

Despite the early look from the hometown school, it was another Pac-10 team that extended the first scholarship offer, and was neck in neck with the Devils in pursuit of Hall's services. "Washington State was actually my first offer," Hall remarked. "BYU and Arizona State were right after that. I visited all three schools, and Washington State and ASU became my two favorites. I knew that it would come down to one of those. I sat down with my parents, talked about it, and decided that Arizona State was for me."

Northwestern, Utah, and Arizona are other schools that offered the quarterback scholarships. In light of Danny White's obvious distain towards ASU's archrival (White vowed never to spend the night in Tucson), were the Wildcats ever a serious contender for Hall's services? "Not really," he said. "I'm sure that they'll have a good program. But you know what, even if I would go to U of A, I know my grandpa and uncle would support me. They still would be ASU fans, but they would support me. It would be funny if I went there, ah? But I'm glad I'm a Sun Devil."

Hall mentioned that many schools backed off recruiting him because of his upcoming mission. The quarterback confirmed this is will indeed take place in a few months. "I'm gonna go to school for a semester, play the season, and leave somewhere around January 15th to go on a mission," he stated. "I'm planning to come back to ASU after the mission." The quarterback added that he's very much looks forward to embarking on what should be an incredible experience. "Every person that I talked to about the mission said that going on the mission is the best thing that has happened in their life – football players included. Even those football players that didn't go on a mission wish they had."

The ASU freshman to-be completed 131 of 203 passes for 2,405 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior, as well as rushed for 344 yards on 54 carries and four more touchdowns. He holds the school record in touchdown passes (61), passing yards (4,789), average passing yards per game (171.0) and attempts (445) "I'm pretty accurate and smart," he said of his skills. "I have a good release on the ball. I'm good in reading defenses. I'm pretty quick, but I need to get bigger and get used to the faster pace of college."

Some argue that playing for such a storied high school program can adequately prepare you for the college level. Hall somewhat agrees with that statement, but he will never disagree with the mystique that surrounds Mountain View "I remember being in 7th grade going to the Mountain View games, and worshiping those guys," he commented. "Kids in my neighborhood grew up all their life preparing to play high school football. When you get there, you do everything you can to be the best and stay on the team. There's a little bit of pressure playing there because of the tradition of the guys before you, and that makes you work even harder."

Hall was named the state of Arizona 5A Player of the Year in 2002 as a junior, the same year he led an undefeated Toros team to capture the 5A championship. He returned to the championship game as a senior, only to lose in a heartbreaking triple overtime game to Hamilton. The signal caller shared his memories from that contest. "We scored twice early going up 14-0, and I thinking we're in great position. At halftime we were tied, and I'm thinking ‘oh great, they're coming back on us…' It just went down to the wire, both teams were scoring, and suddenly we didn't. I give all the credit to Hamilton. It was just an awesome game, and that was my best game ever. I'll never forget it." In Hall's two title games, he combined for 32 of 45 (.711) for 461 yards and four touchdowns.

As a member of the Sun Devils, the quarterback will have a reunion of sorts with three of his Hamilton nemeses – Myrio Davis, Adam Vincent, and David Smith. It was surprising to learn that the trio doesn't come close to ribbing Hall over their victory last December. "They don't bring it up at all," exclaimed Hall. "Anytime we talk about it, is because I bring it up. The guys from Hamilton don't talk smack. All they do is pump me up, and say how great I played. They're real cool guys, and I'm excited to play with them and not against them (smile)."

Not only is Max Hall academically qualified, but he has also never missed being on the Dean's List at Mountain View. Much like the vast majority of newcomers on the team, he has been participating in the off-season conditioning program. Furthermore, he and the rest of the Sun Devil quarterbacks toss the pigskin among themselves twice a week, and Hall is grateful to have such a great teacher in ASU's starting quarterback. "Andrew Walter really knows his stuff and he has been already helping me. He's been teaching me a lot. I'm excited to be around him and learn. You can tell how smart he is and how well he knows the game.

The former Mountain View star was told that the decision to redshirt him will be determined at Camp. Nevertheless, he's realistic about his prospects. "I think I have a little disadvantage obviously going on a mission," he explained. "If you have two guys, and one of them is leaving after the season – which one do you want to give more reps? The guy that will be there next year can help your team. I don't know what to expect…"

Local starts who play for the hometown Sun Devils often talk about the pressure they may feel playing in front the watchful eyes of family and friends. On the other hand, Hall relishes in that same exact thought. "I have an awesome family," he said, "and extended family. They're real supportive, and if I play a bad game those are the people that I want to be around. I don't want to be next to the newspaper guys who're gonna bash me (smile). No matter what I do, my family will support me."

Playing for ASU has truly become a family affair for the Whites, and now the Hall family. When Max Hall looks up in the stands and sees the retired jerseys of his uncle and grandfather, it serves as motivation rather than a source of anxiety and uneasiness. "I do feel honored seeing those numbers up there," Hall exclaimed. "Both of them had great careers at ASU, and went on to the NFL. It makes you want to live up to them a bit, and do my best. But wanting to live up to them doesn't put extra pressure on me. It's more about me and my goals. It's just cool that I get to go the same route they did." Following that route could put Max Hall as a prominent fixture of ASU football in years to come.

Recruit Profile

Name

Max Hall

High School

Mountain View (Mesa, Ariz.)

Position

QB

Height

6-1

Weight

180

Date of Birth

10/30/85

Birthplace

Mesa, Ariz.

Nickname

"Didn't have one."

Favorite TV Show

"Seinfeld."

Favorite Movie

"Lord of the Rings."

Favorite Singer/Band

"G-Unit."

Favorite Food

"Pizza."

Favorite Drink

"Gatorade."

Favorite Athlete

"Donovon McNabb."

Favorite Pro Team

"Arizona Rattlers."

Person you most admire

"My dad. He's someone that I always looked up to. He taught me a lot. He was my coach in football and basketball growing up. He has been an awesome friend."

First Football Memory

"My first touchdown pass. I was in sixth grade playing Pop Warner."

One Thing most people don't know about me

"I don't have anything that exciting about me (smile)."

Why did you choose ASU?

"Close to home, so my family and friends can watch the games."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"Hopefully still playing football. If that doesn't work out have a nice job and a nice family. I'd like to work in something close to sports, like sports medicine."

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