“I kind of grew up watching LSU because LSU was always one of those good teams that you remember when you’re little,” said Hall.
“Then the way they beat up on my home team they deserved to get a look,” Hall added jokingly.
When the Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville product refers to his home team the obvious pick is Ohio State and that would be an accurate selection.
Glenville, which is ranked 19th in the country in the USA Today Super 25, is known as being a pipeline to Ohio State with some of their more recent well-known alums including Troy Smith and Ted Ginn, Jr., along with the seven Tarblooders currently on the Ohio State roster.
Despite that connection to the Buckeyes though Hall says he should not be considered a lock to stay home.
“I like Ohio State, but I wouldn’t say they are my favorite or anything like that,” Hall said. “They are definitely in my list of top schools because I’m from the region and the tradition of Glenville players going there.”
While Hall watched LSU some when he was younger it was last year’s BCS National Championship game against the hometown team that really elevated his interest in the Tigers.
“I saw how LSU’s o-line was just having fun and getting downfield, and that looked like something I wanted to be a part of,” Hall said. “I was interested in them before that game but ever since then I’ve been following them and reading up on them a lot. Then when coach (Greg) Studrawa came up to my school and told me that they offered me I knew right then and there that they were going to be one of my top schools.”
Studrawa may not be a household name down in Louisiana but up in Ohio it is a different story.
LSU’s offensive line coach was born in Fostoria which is Southwest of Cleveland. He played at Bowling Green and spent 14 of his 19 years coaching in the Buckeye State with stops at Cincinnati, Ohio State, and Bowling Green on his résumé.
Studrawa went back and worked a camp at Bowling Green this past summer and that is when Hall finally got to work with the coach he had heard so much about.
“I actually went to the camp because I thought he could be there and I just wanted to see what he was like,” said Hall. “I heard a lot about him as an o-line coach and I wanted to see if it was all true.
“I don’t think I’m a real easily impressed person but he was a real good coach and really pumped up,” added the nation’s 4th ranked offensive tackle. “I want to be with a coach that is really into it and real vocal like coach. That’s the kind of coach I need and I was just real impressed with how coach taught the technique and worked with you as an offensive lineman.”
Hall said that Studrawa told him that he wanted offensive linemen that liked to pound the ball and that were athletic, which describes him perfectly.
Since that camp experience, Hall said that he stays in touch with Studrawa on a regular basis by phone and email.
He has never been to Baton Rouge so he asks a lot of questions when he talks to the fiery coach because although Hall hears a lot of good things about LSU’s campus, he also hears some negative spin coming from others.
“You always hear your rumors about Louisiana and the natural disasters (hurricanes) but that really isn’t a big thing to me,” Hall said. “Anything can happen anywhere.
“I’ve heard it is a pretty fancy campus and not what you would expect,” Hall added. “I actually have a coach that went to school at Louisiana Tech and that’s been down there so he always tells me good things about it.”
The next few months will be pretty busy for Hall and his father as they will embark on the next stage of the recruiting process - official visits.
There are four visits that have already been decided on but that fifth and final one is still up in the air.
“I’m going down to Ohio State the first or second weekend in December and Illinois wants me to come after my season some time in January,” Hall said. “Miami wants me to come Dec. 12 for that visit and then I’m going to LSU in January. I’m thinking about Michigan, N.C. State, or Alabama for that fifth one but I don’t know yet.”
While Hall admits that the Buckeyes may have the distance factor working in their favor he says he isn’t going to let distance be the overriding factor in his decision.
“The four that I’m going to visit are pretty much even,” he said. “Being close to home or what not is really not a big factor to me because I figure wherever you go to school you’re going to be away anyway. So you might as well go where you want to go. That’s what I’ll be looking to see on all of these visits is what place is best for me.”
And when Hall makes it down to South Louisiana in January he will looking for a first-hand account from some of the players on their time at LSU.
“I’m going to definitely be interested in the players and their day to day life, and just see how the players respond to the program,” he said. “I want to try and find out what they like and dislike about the program then meet the coaching staff and see what they’re like.”
One more thing Hall will be looking to check out is the cuisine down in Baton Rouge.
“Oh yea,” he said.
“I’m definitely looking to check out the food down there,” Hall said with a laugh.