Terrelle Pryor made it no secret that he wanted one of his high school teammates to follow him to Ohio State. During the press conference held in his high school's auditorium where he announced his commitment to OSU, Pryor twice referenced Jordan Hall – a teammate one year his junior.
"I'll start recruiting him from this day until signing day next year," Pryor said. "Don't worry, I'll be on him."
As it turned out, Pryor did not have to spend much time trying to convince Hall to follow him to Columbus. A little more than one month later, the running back prospect also from Jeannette, Pa., issued his verbal commitment to OSU head coach Jim Tressel and became the ninth player to do so.
But while the desire to continue his football career alongside Pryor was certainly part of the reason Hall selected the Buckeyes, it was not the only one.
"If he had picked a different school, I probably still would've gone to Ohio State," Hall told BuckeyeSports.com. "It played a little bit of a role to know somebody up there."
The two helped lead the Jayhawks to state championships in both football and basketball last season, and this year it is Hall who is taking over the leadership role Pryor left behind. Heading into the state playoffs, Jeannette had compiled an 8-1 record while using a balanced offense that has seen Hall rush for more than 600 yards during the process.
Although the Buckeyes are looking at him as a running back, Hall has played a number of positions in high school.
"Jordan's an all-around athlete so sometimes he plays in the slot for us but we get him the ball," Jeannette head coach Ray Reitz said. "When we go power-I he's our tailback. We get him the ball and he rotates in at quarterback too. He throws the ball real well."
He has also been part of a defense that allowed an average of 7.9 points per regular-season contest as well.
With Pryor gone, Hall said he has noticed other teams keying on him more than they were a season ago.
"My role, I think, is to provide leadership and to give my team a big play when we need a big play," he said. "I don't want to say I'm the best runner, but I can make plays to help the team out. I make big plays.
"We're playing as a team. Everyone is just playing as a team for one goal, one championship."
Hall also has experience as a punt and kick returner and is hoping to make an impact on special teams as a freshman at OSU. Reitz said that is just one way Hall could be utilized in college.
"I think he has great vision," Reitz said. "He can be a great I tailback. He can be a great slot receiver in the spread. He's very athletic and he's all around. The thing about him is he's very strong. He's very good. I don't know if there's anybody that can do more than he can on the field."
Although Pryor is in the tail end of his freshman season at OSU, Hall still keeps in close touch with his former and future teammate. The 5-9, 185-pound Hall speaks weekly with OSU head coach Jim Tressel and running backs coach Dick Tressel, and the conversation typically covers a number of topics.
One of those topics is Pryor – and it is the OSU coaches seeking information from Hall.
"They always ask me how he's doing because they know I talk to him and he tells me how he's doing and how he likes it," he said. "I talk to him before almost every game. We've been cool since high school. Our relationship is basically just the same, we just don't see each other as much."
Reitz said he sees some qualities in Hall that remind him of Pryor, formerly the nation's No. 1 prospect.
"They're team players," he said. "That's probably the most important aspect of everything. They're more about winning then they are about their individual stats. That's refreshing in today's society."