Football is consistently evolving. When it became less about things like the Packers running sweeps under Vince Lombardi, and more about quarterback slicing apart defenses with intricate passing games, the next phase was for the defense to try and figure out how to stop it. That led to a boon in the pass-rushing game, and subsequently, the valuing of the blindside tackle.
The spread added another wrinkle. Because now you couldn't load up the box, and linebackers had to become the types of players to play in space. That put even more pressure on defensive ends to emerge as the primary pass-rushers in a standard four-man front. And that's where Hall comes in.
If you were to draw up a defensive end to combat the spread offense, you'd probably have a template something like Hall: a long-framed athlete with quickness off the ball, the ability to play in space and the instincts to beat the man in front of him and drop the quarterback to the turf. Hall has as great a frame as you could ask for, 6-6 220, and on film, it isn't unusual to see him chasing down plays from behind. He had 11 sacks in his one season for Lancaster, and was generally a terror to block.
Is there work to be done? Sure. He's still pretty raw, and doesn't always know how to use his hands. He doesn't protect his legs all that well yet and can be cut blocked or chipped. And obviously he's going to need to add more bulk.
But for what you're looking for to combat Big 12 offenses, and for somebody to fit into what Texas already has at the position, it would be hard to find a better peg than Hall. Barring players going pro, Texas will have Jackson Jeffcoat and Reggie Wilson as seniors and Cedric Reed as a junior when Hall reports. And they signed four defensive ends in last year's class.
That means that Texas could afford to look for somebody a bit more raw, somebody to toss into Bennie Wylie's pressure cooker for a season or two and pop out on the other side as a still cat-quick 260-pound player. Because while Hall isn't the best defensive end in the state right now — that would probably go to Torrodney Prevot — he could have the most upside at the position. He's an excellent basketball player, who runs the 40 in the 4.6-second range.
Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers has likened Hall to another state of Texas late bloomer in former Brenham product Brandon Alexander. Like Hall, Alexander was a skinny 6-6 guy who saw his stock explode until he picked Texas A&M over Texas in the 2011 class. And it's easy to see the similarities. Give Hall a year or two to get settled, and the Longhorns might have unearthed one of the better ends in the 2013 class as a whole.