Back in business

CLEMSON - After missing spring practice to recover from offseason knee surgery, Rashard Hall is back and ready to roll in his final season.

Hall, who suffered a micro-fracture in his left knee in last year's season opener, missed just one game in 2011. He finished with a team-high 89 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions for 50 yards, and two recovered fumbles. In all, he totaled 799 snaps in 13 games [12 starts].

Sometimes, it was easy to forget he was running around on a bum knee.

"I don't know if [fans] knew [the amount of pain]. I just tried to tough it out," Hall said. "It was the best thing for the team.

"It worked out for me. I had a good season and I enjoyed playing and helping my team win."

With the first week of preseason camp under his belt, Hall feels that he's back to form.

"I'm running around great and I feel great. I'm getting into the new defense -- love the defense, love the scheme. I'm feeling great," he said.

Over the last three years, the redshirt senior has developed a reputation for having a solid work ethic. That was challenged as he rehabbed from the offseason surgery.

"Work ethic goes to a whole different level when you're talking about rehabbing and working out, too," he said. "You've definitely got to be able to be strong to rehab that many times a day, and be consistent. You had to have a good work ethic."

It was particularly tough on him during the spring. Instead of learning the new defense on the field, Hall was limited to the meeting room and mental reps on the sideline.

"It definitely made me appreciate the game more…I just appreciate that humbling experience," he said.

Since 2009, Hall has been one of the steadiest players on the Clemson defense.

He has 217 tackles, 10 interceptions for 169 yards [sixth-most in school history], six pass breakups and three recovered fumbles in 1,921 snaps [40 games, 31 starts].

The 13 career take-aways [interceptions and fumble recoveries] is tied for ninth-most in school history. The 163 take-away return yards are seventh-most in school history.

Hall will have some fond memories to look back upon when he wraps up his Clemson career, but he'll miss the people who were at his every almost every step of the way.

"I'm looking forward to being around these guys for my last year. I came in with them in '08, a lot of guys like Andre Ellington and Xavier Brewer, a lot of guys," Hall said. "I'm looking forward to being around them. Six months from now, we're all going to be going different ways, so I'm really going to enjoy that." Top Stories