Tug-of-War on the Heart Strings

When Mountain View High School quarterback Max Hall visited BYU's summer camp in 2003, the battle between BYU and ASU coaches for his talents was for him even back then. Hall now finds himself back in that same position once more, only this time, it is much harder than before.

In a star studded summer camp held over the summer at BYU, Max Hall joined Brian Soi, Jacob Bower, Dallas Reynolds, Nick Alleto, Drew Mugleston, Paul Kruger, Spencer Hafoka, Luke Ashworth, Harvey Unga, Rey Feinga, Terrence Brown and a few other D-1 caliber athletes. Out of the quarterback group, Hall was the most polished in camp. It did not take long to realize why former BYU head coach Gary Crowton and current Arizona State head coach Dirk Koetter had both offered Hall a full ride scholarship. The decision was a difficult one, but Hall chose to stay in state and play for Koetter at ASU while his best friends Drew Mugleston signed with BYU.

Fast-forward two years and that once difficult decision has resurfaced. "I obviously went to ASU, went on my mission and came home," said Hall. "While on my mission and when I came home I just had feelings I should explore my options, and BYU really came to mind and I was thinking I need to go check out BYU, Bronco [Mendenhall] and [Brandon] Doman.

"So, I decided to get my release [from ASU] and take a visit to BYU, and I really liked it. I loved both of the coaches and got along with them really well. I like their style and what they have going on over there at BYU."

Max Hall and his father Mark were in attendance to see BYU reach a milestone of 250 all-time home victories as BYU's offense hung 62 points on the Air Force defense, the most points ever scored by a Mountain West Conference team this season.

"I had a great visit there so I was really high on BYU coming out of the visit," Hall said. "I really like the coaches there at BYU when I went and visited them. I like the things outside of football that I can be involved with. Like all the spiritual side of things that are there, and you can't really get that at ASU."

While at BYU, Hall was able to get a good sense of what BYU is about. Along with seeing what kind of person Bronco Mendenhall is, Hall got a good feel for the environment at BYU that accompanies football.

"Mendenhall is just a straightforward and honest guy and he just tells it like it is," Hall said. "You understand he cares about you outside of football. He cares about you as a person and he'll do anything for you. That's pretty much what I got from him that he's just a sincere and honest guy.

"I think one of the things he can teach me is, not only how to be a great quarterback and football player, but also how to be a great person and a great man in the church and in all aspects of life. I just think he can teach me a lot both inside and outside of the game.

"One more thing I wanted to say about Coach Mendenhall is he seems like a person who tells you how you need to be, and he expects a lot out of you and believes you can do it. He believes in you and shows a lot of trust and confidence in you and I like that. He expects you to do things and then believes you're going to do them. That's kind of another thing I got from him I really like.

"You're surrounded by better people at BYU and the atmosphere is better, and again BYU has a great tradition. I just think their team is on the uprise right now. I think they're going to have some good teams in the future and I can be apart of it."

However at ASU, there still are things that have a sentimental hold on Hall's heart.

"Yeah it is tough," Hall said. "It's definitely tough trying to decide between two great schools.

"But then it's just the same thing; I'm torn because Dirk Koetter is a great coach too and they have a good program over at ASU. My family played there too.

Not only does the greater Hall family have a tradition of playing at ASU, they also live within a short drive of the campus.

"It's home," said Hall of ASU's Tempe, Ariz. campus. "It's about 10 minutes away from home and it's where my grandpa and my uncle played. The main thing was, I grew up my whole life an ASU fan, and I've always just dreamed about playing there and going there. That was real intriguing to me, being able to play in front of my family and playing at a Pac-10 school—a big school like that. Those are the main reasons why I went to ASU.

Hall has not made a final decision yet on where he will spend the next four to five years of his life playing football. One thing is for sure, he has a great understanding of the programs he would be involved with at both ASU and BYU. The decision will only come after consulting a Higher Source.

"Right now I guess it's about a lot of prayer and really just looking at the big picture in regards to what place is best for me as far as where do I want to play and where do I want to be at in my life for the next five years," said Hall. "There are a bunch of things that come into play and I'm just kind of feeling out that process right now. I'm praying about it to see what place would be best for me."

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