The Hurry-Up: Get to Know Michael Hall Jr., a Commit with All-Big Ten Potential and the Innate Ability to Create “Forever-Lasting Bonds”

By Zack Carpenter on February 3, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Michael Hall Jr.
Michael Hall Jr. (Allen Trieu, 247Sports)

The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl.

One more time...

The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. 

I've been a Chiefs fan since I was 8 years old after I watched Dante Hall become Devin Hester before Devin Hester. For the next 17 years, it was one tragic, dark comedy of playoff collapse after epic playoff collapse, one heartbreaker somehow more brutal than the last. 

That's all over now. Almost two decades of pain was worth it for what happened over the last month. Just reaching the Super Bowl had me blanketed in tears sitting on my couch I was so happy. After winning it, my throat hurts from screaming, and my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing. 

I finally feel what you guys felt at the end of the 2014 and 2002 seasons, and that feeling is never going away. 

The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. Been waiting so long to be able to say that, and it still doesn't feel real.

*Takes a deep breath; collects self*

OK, now that you guys have let me have my moment, let's get back to why you came to this page...

Hall accomplishes dream

I had only been two weeks into this job as Eleven Warriors' recruiting writer when I reached out to talk to eventual Ohio State commit Michael Hall Jr. in late September. (For future reference, it's either Michael Hall Jr. or Mike Hall, either one he says he doesn't mind.)

He was one of the first dozen or so players I interviewed as I tried to get my feet under me, and he was trying to get some momentum going too. 

Living in Streetsboro, Ohio, just a 2-hour, 15-minute drive northwest from Ohio Stadium, Hall grew up a Buckeyes fan, and Ohio State (like most Ohio football players) was always his dream school. 

But despite having gotten further put on the Buckeyes' radar last summer, he had yet to earn an offer. He got offers from Cincinnati and Kentucky, as those two tried to get in on him early in an attempt to pry the up-and-comer away, but the Ohio State coaches let him know the deal. 

He hadn't shown them enough yet to make them believe he was Ohio State worthy. They told Hall what he needed to do, notably improving his technique and bettering his hand placement along the defensive line. 

So instead of feeling defeated, that's exactly what Hall did. He got back to work, and almost exactly a month later from that initial interview, Hall announced an Ohio State offer on Oct. 28. 

From there, it was a matter of when, not if, the four-star prospect was going to commit. 

Hall's first visit after the offer was for the Penn State game. He walked through the downward ramp of the tunnel in the southeast corner of the stadium, and hearing him describe that memory (he spoke with Eleven Warriors two days after the visit), it was obvious to feel a smile through the phone. 

"The atmosphere was just great," Hall said. "Just coming down the tunnel with 100,000-plus people in the stands was just crazy. It gave me chills, not gonna lie, when I came out of the tunnel. Everyone was hyped. It was the last game the seniors had at home, and it was a big moment I was just taking in.

"It’s a long tunnel so you’re just getting your mind ready, and whatever problems you have just go away. Everything just goes away, and you think about what’s going on right then. And then you get out of the tunnel and see all those lights, and it’s like, dang, I’m not actually playing right now. But it feels like you’re about to when you go down that tunnel, and then you have to come back to reality."

In his mind, Hall was already a Buckeye, saying "it definitely was hard not to commit." But he still wanted to do his due diligence, and so did his mother. They wanted to remain patient with the process a bit longer, weighing options and then making a decision. But Ohio State never left the No. 1 spot in his mind. 

The reason? Well, we asked Hall that too.

"The reason, if I was to commit (to Ohio State), definitely would be the relationships I have with the coaches, and the just the feeling from the fans – how my mom was just telling me to go somewhere where you’re really appreciate and the people are supporting you," Hall said. "And that even if you’re not successful in football, you have something to rely on and go somewhere that will get you to the next level, regardless if it’s on or off the field. That’s what Ohio State can do for me – even if it’s off the field."

Speaking of off the field, Hall describes himself as "an easy person to cope with" and "a guy who works hard." (He didn't have to say that second one. His actions proved that.)

He's also a guy who could become the glue of a team as a leader. He's formed tight friendships with his Streetsboro teammates, and Hall, along with senior running back Krys Riley-Richardson, has been one of the ones at the forefront of helping create bonds on a team that went 11-0 last fall before losing in the Division III Region 9 semifinals. 

"I’ll be the one who asks if the guys wanna go out to eat. I’m gonna treat my guys out to eat or something like that," Hall said. "Just to have something to do. Even as an O-lineman, I’d take my running backs out, and they might take the O-line out. Or we might just have a 2K tournament or a Madden tournament.

"I’ll text them or make a group chat and get everyone to go to the field, even if it’s snowing. We just love to hang out. We’re a really close group, and we’ll always have a forever-lasting bond that couldn't be broken. It’s just a great bond you have with your guys. It just makes you a stronger team."

On the field, the Buckeyes get someone who could be their next DaVon Hamilton, an in-state defensive tackle who has All-Big Ten potential. 

Though it's not consistent yet, and he's only a junior, Hall shows explosiveness off the snap, has an impressive ability to contain quarterbacks and running backs, keeping them inside and not letting them cut to the outside, and he has shown a good sense of play recognition, where the ball is going and good pursuit. 

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Hall will almost certainly be a 3-technique at Ohio State, but he says "a lot of people say I'm versatile and fast and could play the 5-technique."

Read more analysis of the nation's No. 18-ranked DT, No. 228-ranked overall player and No. 9-ranked Ohio junior here.

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