Daeshon Hall, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound Seattle, Wash. native, made the move to Lancaster, Texas his junior year with his younger brother, his mother, and her new job opportunity. It was last summer that he made the move back to Washington, to his former high school Garfield for senior year.
"He was so close with his basketball coach at Garfield," said Hall's mother Erika. "His coach had been following him since he was in the eighth grade, just supported him the whole nine. When Daeshon entered high school, he said, 'Coach, by the time I graduate high school, we're going to win a state championship.' … When I brought him down here (to Lancaster), Daeshon was devastated. He missed basketball, he missed the guys up there. So when he had the opportunity to go back to Seattle for his senior year, he said, 'Mom, I'm there. I'm done. I'm going back.'"
So to Seattle he returned, where he made his initial commitment flip. Hall was committed to the University of Texas for four months before opening things back up June 28, only to become part of Washington football history on June 29, a day that nabbed eight verbal commitments to the Huskies. Two months later, days before school started, he was on a plane back to Lancaster.
"He got to thinking," Erika continued, "and he decided 'basketball is not my career.' He was going to instead pursue football, and the best place for him to do this would be in Texas - coupled with the fact that he and I are so close. 'Dae Dae's' been my road dog since the start. I think I was more tramatized when he left," she laughed, "but I felt he was missing that connection, too. Plus, he and his Lancaster boys had made a pact that they were also going to make that state championship run. And they really believed they could do it, they really believed this was the year."
"It was a hard choice for him to make, having to call his coach to say, 'Coach, I love you, and I want to do the state championship, but I got to head back to Texas with my mom and my younger brother and finish this thing out."
And he did. (Maybe not entirely as planned, but historically nonetheless.) He and his Lancaster Tigers made their program-best 14-1 run into the Texas 4A-Division II state championship, where (regardless of a 17-7 loss to Cedar Park) Hall was named the defensive MVP with a sack and three tackles for losses.
It was in the second half of the season that Hall made his official visit to Washington (Nov. 9) - and that TCU and Texas A&M increased their efforts, both making stronger pushes for the defensive end. Hall eventually wanted to "see what they're about," making an official visit to TCU Jan. 11, followed by A&M Jan. 18.
Walking away "surprised" by both, "loving the two more than he thought he would", it posed a difficult decision.
"And that's when he realized it was the same thing he'd faced before," said Erika. "He had this connection with Coach Lupoi at Washington. Coach Lupoi had been around for so long, since before he committed; he'd been riding with him the whole way through. Daeshon feels this sense of loyalty, like 'I'm going to be there for you and we're going to help bring a national championship to the University of Washington, I'm going to come home to Seattle.'"
"At this point, though, 'Dae Dae' realizes that's not what's best for him."
"So to make a decision outside of this emotional attachment that he's made, and to say what's best for me and my family is to take my talents elsewhere, it's a lot like the decision he had to make back in August. But he finally came to that conclusion."
It was among Washington, TCU and Texas A&M. And while TCU and A&M were the two Lone Star programs, Hall decided it was the Aggies that provided the best fit for him.
"He knew he wanted to stay close to home, but the connection that he has with the coaches at A&M played big," said Erika. "He feels confident that the coaching staff there has the capability to develop him into the player he knows he wants to be and can help him reach his goals, like making it to the next level."
A&M also provides his desired degree program - sports management.
"The level of success that he has seen achieved at Texas A&M this year was another thing. He feels he can come in with this recruiting class and they can really do big things. They want to bring A&M home a national championship."
The ring leader of this Aggie-SEC movement is close friend, former teammate, and third verbal of the 2013 class, Ishmael Wilson.
"Ishmael and Daeshon played junior high ball together at Lancaster," Erika noted. "Their seventh grade season was off the charts. They went undefeated - nobody scored on them. It was an unreal group of guys. That's where 'Dae Dae' and Ish started."
In the end,
"It's been a crazy ride," she sighed. "But what's important to me tonight is that Daeshon is happy, and he can now rest easy, and move on to the next step.
"That's what we've been singing all night," she laughed. "'On to the Next' by Jay-Z. Daeshon's ready. Time to get back to work."