A Cult Hero Among Fans, Marcus Hall Seeks On-Field Recognition

By Kyle Rowland on March 10, 2014 at 9:15a
32 Comments

The winding road Marcus Hall’s been on the past five years resembles San Francisco’s famed Lombard Street or even Daytona International Speedway – constant turns. There were academic setbacks, an unexpected redshirt season and, of course, the infamous double middle-finger salute at Michigan Stadium.

The former guard’s name is etched in Ohio State lore for the incident during last season’s Michigan game. After 31 starts, a 24-game win streak and triumphs in the Rose and Sugar Bowls, Hall will forever be remembered for his meltdown in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, an example of the emotional battle played out every November. In the Buckeye State, it’s set off a meteoric rise for the least heralded of the senior offensive linemen.

Hall’s embraced his newfound celebrity, but he wishes the reasons surrounding his popularity were different. Instead of hiding behind a series of excuses, though, Hall owns up to his mistakes, calling the incident embarrassing and humbling.

“I just tell [NFL personnel] I got caught up in the moment," Hall said. "I don't try to give them a sob story or anything. I just lost it. I just feel like my love for this university and that game came out in the wrong way. I was just so wrapped up in this whole rivalry that I responded ‘below the line,’ as Coach Meyer would say.”

It’s come with a financial windfall. Recent weeks have been spent touring various Ohio outposts signing autographs, including the renowned Michigan photo, for as much as $25. On eBay, the signed photo is fetching $60.

“I just show up to the signings like every other player, and that’s what the fans want,” Hall said. “I love the Buckeye fans, and they love me.”

The real Hall is not the person seen throwing a tantrum on the sideline in Ann Arbor. He’s a soft-spoken, polite figure who got caught up in the moment. Going forward, Hall understands the Michigan game will be part of his legacy, but he would like his play on the field to have a voice.

“I don’t want to go back and try to point the finger like I wasn’t wrong. I was completely wrong for what I did.”– Marcus Hall

Friday afternoon marked the final time Hall and his offensive line mates performed together, and they did so inside the familiar confines of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. All four – Hall, Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley and Andrew Norwell – were pleased with their performances at Ohio State’s Pro Day, which was viewed by personnel from all 32 NFL franchises and the CFL’s B.C. Lions.

But for Hall, the day represented a rebirth and opportunity to explain his transgressions to the more than 80 coaches, executives and front office personnel. Despite a relatively anonymous career, Hall was already on the radar of the attendees. He displayed an improved level of blocking, technique and fundamentals that could vault him from undrafted free agent to late-round selection.

At 6-foot-5, 313 pounds, Hall’s in tremendous shape. His body fat percentage is at its lowest after spending the past two months working out. Hall said he weighed as much as 330 pounds with 25 percent body fat when his career bottomed out as a sophomore.

“I feel I had a chance to show the scouts I could move a lot better than in previous years,” Hall said. “About a year ago, I started making this transformation.”

The most regret, however, is reserved for Nov. 30, 2013. All the events surrounding that day and what followed – ejection, suspension, scorn – are best seen in the rearview mirror for Hall. He doesn’t want people to get the impression that he’s humored by the incident and called his punishment for the Big Ten Championship Game – a loss to Michigan State – the toughest thing of his career.

“I can’t ignore it, because when I see the fans, they make it this big deal,” Hall said. “I’m like, ‘No, man, it wasn’t even supposed to be like that.’ I don’t want anybody to think that I’m proud of it.”

But if a negative situation can be flipped into a positive, Hall won’t sit idly by. He and his agent will investigate the possibility of securing rights to Hall’s likeness, which is not only featured in photos, but also on t-shirts, among other forms of memorabilia.

“I don’t want to go back and try to point the finger like I wasn’t wrong. I was completely wrong for what I did,” Hall said. “I feel like it’s good and bad. There’s publicity, but at the end of the day, we all know how bad it was. Obviously it hurt me. At this point, I’m just trying to stay positive and move forward.

“I want it to die down, but it probably won’t.”

Only when his NFL career gets underway. But even then, Hall will be sucked back to his past each November.

32 Comments

Comments

Son of Sevenless's picture

If the incident is 'embarrassing' and he feels that he 'was completely wrong', why bring so much more attention to it by signing a photo of that moment. Sign a different photo.

+4 HS
zjhousley's picture

He is a 24 year old college student with no guarantee of an NFL contract.  So I would say he is signing it for the $$$

+6 HS
Spider1944's picture

I agree. It's a no brainer. Anybody that says otherwise is not being real. 

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

-1 HS
ronbizi's picture

If he's already a multi-millionaire professional football player, I would agree.  Since he's straight out of college, and a likely late-round/undrafted pick, I would highly encourage him to use his college football past to make money the way the NCAA used him to make money.

+3 HS
1967Buck's picture

  OSU gave a lot to him also. Its a two way street. Peace.

+4 HS
Stoicpaisano's picture
+1 HS
Orangeslash's picture

“I don’t want to go back and try to point the finger like I wasn’t wrong."

Maybe not the best use of words, Marcus.

+11 HS
BroJim's picture

Nice!

I season my simple food with hunger

rider1's picture

Marcus Hall has come a long way since his sophomore year. Warriner's impact can't be over-stated. I'd love to see him in a Brown's uniform. The UM game incident was unfortunate for him; I'm guessing as far as on the field, I might have reacted exactly the same.  I wish him the best.

Ethos's picture

hehe, if it were up to Brown's fans their entire team would be made up of former or current buckeyes.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

+2 HS
chemicalwaste's picture

Never, ever type hehe. Even when telling someone not to type it, it's unacceptable.

-1 HS
Breakawayspeed's picture

I feel like its good and bad".  Marcus is a walking talking contradiction here.  I think he's trying to say the publicity is good but the "salute" was bad.  Perhaps the opposite is true.  BTW, I watched the tape of that incident yesterday and there is no way only one UM player should have been tossed. Three of them would have been about right! Not that it mattered in the end for those jackwads. 

+3 HS
KingsRite's picture

 

“I have yet to be in a game where luck was involved. Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn't win.” -Urban Meyer-

+4 HS
seafus26's picture

Those damn weasels started it and it looked planned rehersed how they kept on and surrounded lil' Dontre. Good for Hall for having his teammates back and not allow the ring of muggers to have their way with his teammate. I also, think Hall might have been protecting his QB who had no business getting in the scrap. I figured most are still with coach transcriptting first play to be run, and what we want to attack on this drive and what we will do if D gives us certain looks. Never seen a QB stray from those things at the planned change of possession (like a kick off) to run amuck like that. 

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

+3 HS
allinosu's picture

It was michigan so I say it's a shame he couldn't go for three. 

+7 HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

You win the Internet today.

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

CC's picture

To me this is similar to when the guys took down the banner before the game.  I actually love it.  Is it good for the image of the school etc?  Probably not, but if I ask myself if I look back on it fondly, I do (mostly because we won anyway).  I'm glad he did it and to me it just adds more spice to the rivalry..

+3 HS
irishfury's picture

This is how I feel in ten years from now when they're showing the History and the great moments of the Rivalary this image will always be part of that lore going forward.

+1 HS
Art Harrell's picture

The double middle fingers to scUM fans was "priceless"

the only thing missing how sweet it would had been if

TBDBITL---would had played-" I don't give a damn for the whole state of Michigan -Go Bucks

+1 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

Eh TTUN? Fuck 'em.....

LEBRON

+4 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I love Marcus Hall for what he did on the field that day as well as leaving it - given the circumstances.  TTUN instigated it and threw the first punches.  Hall did nothing but come to his teammates rescue and for that, I stand and applaud!  Should he say what he is saying, of course he should - but on that day, given the chain of events - I could not have come up with a better exit!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

+2 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

I don't think that is a huge negative to NFL folks, and OSU fans don't hold it against him. I don't see that it's that big of a deal. Sure he'll get to see it every year around the time of the game, but it's not like he did some terrible horrid thing. 

Don't see this having any effect on his life other than having to talk about it in interviews. 

+1 HS
mrspray's picture

I think the fact that OSU won the game helps my perception of the incident. If OSU had lost, I'd feel a lot more negativity towards the actions of Marcus & Dontre, but thankfully their teammates were able to pull that one out.

+1 HS
Bourbon Meyer's picture

I haven't seen that game since November. Had it DVR'ed until I got into an argument with my U-M grad wife and she deleted it. If it comes on again BTN, ESECPN, anywheres can someone alert me so I can DVR it again. New to board by the way.

+1 HS
DC-town's picture

I think he handled from a media standpoint as well as he could have, people can get on him for contradicting himself, but I think that's him being real-

he's getting pub for it and love from buckeye nation, but will probably alway have some embarrassment that its part of his legacy-

thanks for your time Marcus and congrats on turning it around since soph year...could have never figured it out, so thanks and best of luck in the nfl

'Piss excellence' -RB

DC-town's picture

Bourbon, that's what u get for Marrying a mich fan...what did you expect, logical and respectful thoughts and actions?

'Piss excellence' -RB

+3 HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

Maybe the double-bird shouldn't have happened, but he stood up for his team.  To paraphrase the Coach in the movie "Hometown Legend" : "I do not believe that fighting makes you a man, but there is no doubt that not standing up for your team makes you a coward".  No question where his heart is, and that is how I will remember Marcus Hall.  

 

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

+1 HS
Qujo's picture

Absolutely will go down in the annals of Buckeye/Scum rivalry as a true image of the rivalry. For that he is and will be a cult hero as a true Buckeye. He has the time in front of him to prove he can do it in the NFL and I hope he does. Maybe how A Boone is now a regular starter at 49'ers. But when his time is done there, make now doubt about it, that image will be used over and over again when the historians talk about The Rivalry. It is part of the history of it all. I love it and hope to get my hands on a signed poster to frame for my man cave next to the other classic photo's I have of the rivalry! (Might have to cover my kids eyes for the next few years though :). ) Best of luck Marcus! Go get you some $$$.

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

Seattle Linga's picture

So glad he said what he said - a mark of a real man - knows when he screwed up and has the nuggets to admit it.

+3 HS
IH8UOFM's picture

I was in a very pro-UM bar when that moment happened. I remember yelling "Yeah, baby...he just did what millions of us wish we could do."

-1 HS
Buckeye58's picture

I was just curious if the individuals (AKA Punks) that started the whole "Scum Scrum" by surrounding Dontre Wilson  have voiced any regret for their part in the incident?

I think Marcus has handled it well and like a pro.

AKA Li'l Woody

O'boy's picture

I think the real crime is the mugging Wilson took from scum, what did that little finger hurt and besides the fans payed a couple hundred to watch the game and they got a little extra credits that they can always rewind

O