Just minutes after University of Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt and Razorback offensive line coach Mike Markuson had their hearts ripped out by the USC Trojans and their team's five turnovers, a big young Sand Lizard dropped by and gave them a reason to smile.
Dardanelle's mammoth junior offensive lineman Matt Hall (6-10, 320) - one of the nation's Top 100 2008 prospects to watch according to Scout.com - chose that time to commit the Razorbacks and thus became the first member to verbally pledge to Arkansas in that class.
"I have just always grew up wanting to be a Razorback and am sure what I want to do so there was really no reason to wait," Hall said. "I have a very good relationship with Coach Markuson and he looks out for me and I came up to him after the game and said I am going to be a Razorback in a couple of years. He got a big smile on his face and took me in to see Coach Nutt and he was excited and said ‘welcome to the family.' It feels really good."
Hall, who has grown a inch this summer and two inches since last season, got his offer soon after he came to the Houston Nutt Football Camp in mid-June.
"My family and I actually read in the newspaper that they were going to offer me and then when we talked to them we found out it was true," Hall said. "It was just a great feeling."
Hall also attended camps at Tulsa and LSU this summer and both coaching staffs had indicated they had major interest in offering Hall down the line.
"But like I said I have always wanted to be a Razorback so that's the only offer I have ever cared about," Hall said. "I feel really good about this."
It was a big week for Hall with the Sand Lizards' season-opening 35-7 win over Dover, committing to Arkansas and learning Sunday night of his inclusion on the Scout.com national Top 100 list along with Camden Fairview defensive tackle Lavunce Askew (6-5, 260).
"That (the top 100) is quite a surprise and I am really honored to to be named to that when there are so many great players out there," Hall said. "To be named one of those top players in just really special."
The only thing that could have made the week better was obviously if Arkansas could have come away with a win Saturday night instead of losing to No. 3 USC 50-14 after trailing just 13-7 late in the second quarter.
"The crowd was just wonderful and they were very supportive even in the second half when the game got away from us," Hall said. "The offense wasn't on the field very long, but I saw some things that really impressed me and they are just going to keep getting better and be very good."
Dardanelle and Hall, whose teammate C.J. Chaten has committed to Tulsa, will host Lavaca on Friday night.
He hopes that the offense has another outstanding effort like it did against Dover.
"The game was amazing and a whole lot of fun," Hall said. "We had some real good connections between our quarterback and wide receivers and they had a small line to go against so we did really well. I was really happy to get the win and hopefully we can keep it going against Lavaca."
UA's New Hall
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