One of the more intriguing visitors of the 19 prep football prospects that will be on the University of Arkansas campus beginning today for official visits is Georgia prep star Michael Hall, Jr.
Hall is a 6-4, 240-pound defensive end/tight end from Decatur (Ga.) Southwest Dekalb, who has ripped off a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash, recorded a vertical jump of 35 inches and bench pressed 340 pounds.
Of course, all of that happened before tearing his ACL in the third game of his senior season but he has attacked rehab with the same tenacity that he is know for going after quarterbacks.
"Michael has always been an outstanding athlete and that is even showing up in the rehab of his knee," Michael Hall, Sr., said of his son. "They tell us that he is 4 1/2 weeks ahead of schedule and have applauded him for his work ethic."
Hall, who had a whopping 17 solo tackles in one game as a sophomore, already had 40 tackles and 5 sacks when injuring his knee in the third game of the 2004 campaign.
"The coaches like him because of his speed and his footwork, his football awareness and his knowledge of the game," Hall said. "He's played both tight end and defensive end in high school and college coaches have been recruiting him for both. I guess he could end up at either place, but he likes defense because he likes to hit."
Hall took an unofficial visit to nearby Georgia Tech and officials to Oklahoma State and Michigan State according to his dad.
He has chosen to take what will be his final visit to Arkansas over Maryland, Illinois, Bowling Green and South Florida, who all have offers on the table.
"He really had a hard time trying to narrow things down and has been focused on his knee and getting it well than I think he has recruiting," Hall said. "But we had to think about what was his best option for this weekend and that was Arkansas, a school he really likes."
Much of that is because of Arkansas defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, who has been on Hall since seeing him last year while evaluating former Southwest Dekalb star Frank Morton.
"I think they came to see Frank and liked what they saw with Michael," Hall said. "They have been recruiting him every since then, stayed in contact with him and let him know they really wanted him to visit and they were very interested in him. This weekend was just the best time for them to bring him in and for him to make it."
Hall had 95 tackles as a junior and got to the quarterback 12 times. He also caught 23 passes for over 400 yards and six scores.
"There was an unbelieveable amount of attention coming his way before he injured his knee," Hall said. "A lot of them backed off, but a lot of them stayed on. I'm a little biased speaking as a parent and all, but I think he is going to be a great college football player."
The younger Hall will make the visit this weekend and then announce his decision.
"Coach Rocker has done a great job courting him and we feel real good about Arkansas," Hall said. "He'll go on this visit, come back and we'll talk and he'll let everybody know. Arkansas is in in great shape with him."
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