Ohio State has landed two big prospects from western Pennsylvania. Less than six hours after five-star linebacker Dorian Bell from Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway held a press conference to announce his verbal commitment to join the Buckeyes' class of 2009, Jeannette, Pa., word leaked out that running back Jordan Hall had decided to do the same.
But unlike Bell, Hall said he knew as of Sunday afternoon that he was going to commit to the Buckeyes – and it nearly happened weeks ago.
"I've been thinking about it since I went there for a junior day," Hall told BuckeyeSports.com, referring to an event that took place Feb. 24. "Then the spring game just made it happen. I just like I was at home when I was there."
Hall returned to Columbus during the April 19 weekend to take in the OSU spring game and nearly did not leave without issuing a verbal commitment. Instead, he cited a need to talk to his parents first before doing so.
The 5-9, 185-pound Hall did so, and less than 24 hours later he was a Buckeye.
"I had to talk to my mom about it, and she said if that's what I wanted to do she was behind me," he said. "I told her that's what I wanted to do."
Although Hall decided where he was going on Sunday, he did not call OSU head coach Jim Tressel until Monday. Tressel is now setting up a time for Hall to make a return trip with both parents in tow so they can see where their son will be headed off to college.
While on campus, Hall spent time with every OSU coach, he said, but he said he spent the most time with running backs coach Doc Tressel, his eventual position coach.
"They want me to be a regular running back," he said.
As a junior, Hall emerged as a key offensive weapon on a team led by quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the nation's top prospect for the class of 2008. He rushed for 891 yards and 20 touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 704 yards and nine more scores, helping the Jayhawks take home a state championship.
Scout.com ranks him as a four-star prospect and the No. 18 running back prospect in the country.
Although he credited Pryor for helping the OSU coaching staff discover him, Hall said his final decision was not made with his former – and future – teammate in mind.
"I'm not going there just because Terrelle went there," he said, adding that he spoke with Pryor on Sunday. "He was happy about it. He told me, ‘Make sure you feel that it's right and don't commit and back out. It's a big decision.' "
Hall held offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and Pittsburgh in addition to OSU. With his commitment, the Buckeyes have 11 verbal members of their class of 2009, six of whom are four-star recruits.
Now, with the decision out of the way, the senior-to-be can focus on helping his team try to defend its state championship.
"I feel good," he said. "It's a big weight off of my shoulders. I can focus on my team and next year's football season."