Hall seizes opportunity to play with Pryor a second time

Freshman running back Jordan Hall is trying to prove he isn’t just “the guy who played at the same school as Terrelle Pryor.”Hall’s high school career in Jeannette, Pa., was mostly spent as the secondary playmaker on offense to Pryor. The backfield duo brought the Jeannette Jayhawks their first football state title during Pryor’s senior and Hall’s junior season. As an encore, they followed it up a few months later with a matching state championship as starters on their high school’s basketball team. After his quarterback left for Ohio State, Hall didn’t waste much time deciding where he wanted to attend college. “I knew I was going to be a Buckeye,” Hall said after OSU’s win on Saturday, in which he led the team with 90 yards rushing. “I just got that gut feeling coming up here for junior day, the Spring Game. I just had that gut feeling and so far it’s working out.”The freshman has made an early impact and given a depleted running back squad some consistency on the depth chart. Sophomore Dan “Boom” Herron and junior Brandon Saine have battled injuries recently, and Hall has taken the opportunity to prove that he is more than just “Pryor’s old teammate.”Coming out of high school, Hall was not seen as a player who could make an impact right away. Recruiting experts thought it would be Jaamal Berry or Carlos Hyde who would be making their names known early, but things haven’t gone as planned for the two highly touted backs. Berry’s injuries and Hyde’s inability to qualify academically have left Hall to carry the load. “I knew I was coming in with two other really good running backs,” Hall said. “So it was kind of like motivation for me, but we’re all working hard. Jaamal is working hard too, but his injuries aren’t allowing him to play.”Hall believed the low expectations placed on him would give him a chance early in his career to surprise some people. “I definitely took it as a challenge, and I worked real hard in the offseason because I knew I was kind of an underdog coming in, so it motivated me,” Hall said. “Coming out of high school, everyone thought since Jeannette was such a small school, that we wouldn’t be ready to play college football, but it shows that if you’re an athlete, you’re an athlete and you can play.”Hall has 231 yards rushing this season and one touchdown. His most impressive stat, however, is his average of 5.1 yards per carry, more than either Herron or Saine. His running style gives OSU something different than “Boom” and “Zoom,” especially while the two are plagued with injuries. “I always had a belief and confidence in myself, but the injuries are allowing me to make plays so I’m just trying to take full advantage of it,” Hall said. “It’s funny, coming in we were like, we got five good running backs that could run, and we were all doing pretty good, then two go down. So everyone has to step up, you can never take a week off in practice, because you never know what can happen to the running back in front of you.”Being from the same high school as Pryor might cause any player to feel overshadowed, but not Hall. He has nothing but admiration for the Buckeye quarterback and believes all the attention is warranted. Pryor’s commitment to OSU also made Hall feel more comfortable with his own decision.“He deserves it. He works hard and he’s a leader,” Hall said. “I’m just playing, and I’ve never felt overshadowed. It was a reason that I came, but it wasn’t the main reason. Knowing I had someone I could ask questions to that helped my decision.”While Hall continues to surprise people, he hasn’t surprised himself. “I don’t know how people really felt about me, but I know how I felt about myself,” he said. “So I’m not really surprising myself, but I’m just trying to take full advantage when I’m in the game.”

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