Scouting Report: Commitment Leon Hall

Don Hoekwater was there -- at Leon Hall's Vista Panthers' San Diego Section Division 1 Championship game Saturday night. Here is Don's report on the game, his scouting report on Hall, and a Sunday interview with Leon on his Michigan commitment! Stay tuned for pictures.

Leon Hall's Vista Panthers came into last Saturday nights San Diego Section Division 1 Championship game with apprehension. Although the Panthers had defeated Carlsbad 45-7 earlier in the season Head Coach Chris Hauser had informed yours truly, Don Hoekwater, that they didn't talk about that. This Carlsbad team was different then the one they had played earlier, rattling off seven straight victories since their last meeting.

In a heartbreaking example of how a great team loses, Vista had several crucial turnovers and fell to the Lancers 14-13 in front of over 21,000 fans at Qualcomm Stadium (The Chargers' stadium) in San Diego. Despite a heroic effort by recent Michigan commitment Hall, the Panthers couldn't overcome their lapses. Hall finished the night with two interceptions, a blocked field goal, and several key pass receptions.

Vista committed five turnovers, all fumbles, in the game. One came on the runback after Hall's blocked field goal -- where it appeared the Vista runner's knee had touched the ground before the ball popped free, but the ref's thought otherwise. The real killer was on the last Vista drive of the game. After Hall's second interception of the night the Panthers were driving down the field for what could have been the winning score. Vista quarterback Mike Altieri fumbled after a 12 yard run, and Carlsbad ran the clock out for the win.

Here is my scouting report on Hall. My first impression is that he is a very hard worker. He plays both ways and was a major factor on the offensive side of the ball as well as on defense, making two 3rd and long catches that ended in both Vista scores. On defense he is smart, knows where the ball is at all times, and isn't fooled by the receivers' moves. Carlsbad stayed away from him most of the night, and paid the price of two interceptions when they strayed from that strategy. Leon is a fierce competitor, and loves to stick his head in the frey. During the second quarter he sustained a nasty gash on his right hand, but only came out of the game long enough to get taped. At halftime he got stitches and then came out in the second half and made his field goal block and last interception. Finally -- he is fast!

Leon was undestandably upset after the loss and respectfully declined to be interviewed after the game. But the next day, Sunday, he told Tom Beaver, "We just had too many fumbles. But the team will be fine" (the strong Vista program won it all the year before). And Tom asked Leon why he picked Michigan. "There is not like there is just one reason for me picking Michigan. I wanted to go where there is proud tradition -- and Michigan has that big time. And then academically, it's one of top scools in the nation. Out of the other schools I was looking at, I could only see myself at Michigan."

Hall (USC Nike Stats: 5-11, 175 lbs., 4.42 in the 40, 4.19shuttle, 33 inch vertical jump) will be visiting Michigan on January 10th with Defensive Coordinator Dan Williams. Michigan will be adding another in the long line of outstanding cornerbacks when Hall don's the Winged Helmet next fall. The Vista coaches are excited about him coming to Michigan!

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