Tulane coaches saw film of Andre Hal in action from his sophomore campaign where he intercepted four passes and took one back for a touchdown, broke up 15 more pass attempts, and logged 32 tackles – 23 solos and nine assists. The highlight film combined with working with Hal at a one-day camp was all Tulane needed to see to extend an offer.
Going into his junior year, Hal expected more good fortune to come his way as he was tabbed by many to be one of the top players on the defensive side of the ball in District 9-3A.
Hal lived up to those high expectations as he upped his interception total to five – one returned for a score – and was in on 56 total tackles with 38 solos and 18 assists.
After starting off 5-0, the Pelicans dropped their final four games with two of the setbacks by eight points or less. That prompted Hal to look ahead to the recruiting process as he saw several players he was familiar with after seeing them at combines and camps pick up early scholarship offers.
Hal knew that he was just as good, if not better, than some of the players he was reading about, but still, there weren’t any new offers heading into the latter half of April.
“I was wondering what was going on because I thought I was going to get some more offers early,” Hal said. “I’m not cocky or anything, but I just thought I was better than getting just one offer.”
Hal’s self-assessment was on the money and all it took was for coaches to get their hands on his highlight film from his junior season, along with the horde of college coaches that traveled to Port Allen during the spring evaluation period for his time in the spotlight to arrive.
“It’s kind of crazy,” said Hal, who now has offers from Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Miami of Ohio, Tulane, UL-Lafayette, Utah State and New Mexico. “I’m getting calls almost everyday now. I think this is just the starting point of other big time offers to come.”
Hal should expect more overtures of the BCS-variety, because with his size – a shade under 6-feet and 170 pounds – and his legit 4.5 speed, he has digits that are highly coveted for the next level.
“The biggest thing is he’s got good size and speed, and you’re talking about a kid who is academically qualified already,” said Port Allen head coach Guy Blanchard. “He’s got great hips and good feet, and just a no-brainer.
“You have a 6-foot corner who can lock down and play a lot of zero [man on man], and has the type of speed that he has; that’s why the coaches who see his film are saying he’s a no-brainer. And his film is just now starting to get out.”
Hal has the speed that Blanchard alluded to and for those who don’t have the luxury of timing him with their own stopwatch they have official track times they can turn to.
Just a few weeks ago, Hal was a member of the Class 3A State Championship 4x200 relay team that finished with what Blanchard said was one of the top five times in the nation for outdoor track this year. He ran the third leg for a team that finished with a time of 1:25.85.
Whether or not track is in Hal’s future remains to be seen, but Blanchard knows that football is.
With only the Mississippi River separating Port Allen from LSU’s campus, it’s only a short drive for an LSU coach to make to see what kind of talent Blanchard has. That drive was made by Tigers defensive coordinator John Chavis not too long ago with a follow-up made by secondary coach Ron Cooper.
Upon returning from scouting Hal in person, Blanchard received a call from LSU head coach Les Miles requesting that he bring Hal, along with another Port Allen standout Leonard Parker, over to campus for an unofficial visit that took place two weeks ago.
“Coach Miles and Coach Chavis are very impressed with his size and speed, and they are very interested in keeping the Louisiana kids in Louisiana,” said Blanchard. “They are very interested in getting him into camp and evaluating further and seeing what he can do.”
Hal will attend LSU’s second summer camp session on July 18 and that will follow camps he is scheduled to take part in at Alabama on June 7 and Georgia Tech the following week.
Hal knows that he will be under the microscope when he attends all of his camps, but perhaps none more so than when he makes the short drive across the Mississippi River bridge to the Capitol City.
“It’s [LSU] one of the top schools in the nation and everybody from around here would like to go to LSU,” said Hal who reports a 3.0 core grade point average and a 19 on the ACT. “I like LSU and I think about staying close to home to be by my family and friends. It’s right across the river from me, but I’m not sure what they’re going to do so I’m just working hard and seeing who all offers.”
Hal is hoping that the hometown team comes through with an offer and if it does then he will have even more to consider than he does now.
“Vanderbilt, Alabama, LSU, Nebraska, and probably Tennessee,” Hal said of just some of the schools he hopes to be able to choose from. “I’m still considering all of my offers, though. I’m not ruling anyone out at this point whether they offered or they’re just still evaluating me.”