With Los Angeles (Calif.) Augustus Hawkins five-star teammate Joseph Lewis off on an unofficial visit to Nebraska for the weekend, 2018 wide receiver Jalen Hall had a unique opportunity.
When the Michigan football staff descended upon the Hawkins campus for a satellite camp on Saturday, the 6-foot-4, 183-pound four-star was the unquestioned star of the show and the center of every Wolverines’ staffers attention, including head coach Jim Harbaugh.
“Of course it’s a cool experience, but I don’t get too big-headed about it,” Hall said. “I stay humble and make sure I stay hungry.
“Overall, I had fun, even the conditioning because I need to get in shape.”
Rather than dominating defensive backs with his ability to high point the ball as he’s shown throughout the spring during 7-on-7 events, Hall had to impress in different ways. Michigan’s satellite camps are structured differently, without any actual football competition. Rather than your traditional combine testing events and offense-versus-defense drills, the 2-hour, 20-minute camp featured a plethora of short-area drills and position competitions. Players didn’t even touch a football in the first hour.
But Hall was still able to stand out. He showed an impressive short-burst ability, producing the best performances of the camp in both a 5-10-5-yard shuttle and a 5-10-15-20-yard shuttle. Hall also showed his catch ability despite having a number of young quarterbacks throwing.
“Run good routes and catch the ball. That’s something I want to perfect.”
For Hall, he got an opportunity to interact with the Michigan coaching staff and see how they connect themselves. It was a similar learning experience as USC’s Rising Stars Camp earlier in the week. Hall didn’t participate, but he and Lewis showed up to observe the Trojan coaches in action.
“I saw that they have fun too. Just out there, just seeing athletes work, that’s always something good. Even though I wasn’t working out, it’s still cool watching the coaches and seeing what they look at specifically.
“The whole time I had a good time, talking with USC players or coaches or different players that I knew. It was all just a fun experience and I’m enjoying it.”
The USC camp was tough for Hall since his goal is to outwork his peers. It was a reminder that any day he isn’t working, the competition is.
“When I was there, I actually felt like ‘they are getting better than me right now.’ I wanted to work out, but I had no cleats. If I had the cleats, I would have started working out. If you grind hard, you’ll be where you want to be.”
He’ll try to show his stuff in two weeks as one of the few 2018 players invited up to Beaverton, Ore. for The Opening Finals.
As one of the top 2018 players in the nation, Hall will have his choice of colleges next year, but expect the local Trojans to get a serious look.
“When I’m down there, we just talk football and how I would fit best in their program.”
Hall said his decision will ultimately come down to aspects such as program fit, “how they would have my back on and off the field, how they would get me to the league and just making me better as a student-athlete.”
Check out Jalen Hall's highlights from the The Opening Los Angeles Regional: