HALL FIGHTS THROUGH INJURY

Sometimes bad things happen to good people, even for those who wait. JaJuan Hall had to wait for his chance to play college football after he graduated from St. Martin DePorres High School in Detroit, Michigan because the previous Bearcat coaching staff decided to grayshirt him.

Grayshirting happens because a school either runs out of scholarships for that particular year (the maximum in a year is 25), or the school feels the athlete isn't physically ready for the rigors of college football and could use another year of maturation. JaJuan isn't sure which was the case for him, but he turned down offers from in-state schools like Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan to grayshirt at Cincinnati.

Despite a shoulder injury a year ago, JaJuan has earned two letters and was considered a strong candidate for the starting free safety job this spring. That is until the ACL injury. He doesn't know exactly when he injured the knee last season, but it sure has put him at a disadvantage this spring. "It's been hard. Watching everybody getting better on the field, while I'm getting better rehabbing my knee on this stationary bike. It's going to be hard for me to get a starting position because everyone else is practicing." JaJuan is hoping to be 100% by July, but with practice starting again in August, there is very little margin for error. The good news for JaJuan is the fact that he can still redshirt, if necessary. Grayshirting doesn't eliminate the player's ability to redshirt.

Since JaJuan arrived in Clifton, he has continued to improve. He is still 6' tall but has increased his weight slightly to 193 pounds. He knows he needs to get even bigger and stronger, but identified his real strength as using his 4.5 speed to cover receivers.

Overcoming adversity is a part of athletics, but JaJuan would like to see adversity pick on someone else for a while. He hopes the old saying, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger," applies to him. If that truly is the case, JaJuan Hall should return next season stronger than ever.


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