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Undeniable talent

Off+to+the+Races++Under+Armour+All-American+athlete+Justin+Hall+takes+one+to+the+house.+He+finished+with+332+total+yards+and+four+touchdowns+vs.+Bolingbrook
Off to the Races  Under Armour All-American athlete Justin Hall takes one to the house. He finished with 332 total yards and four touchdowns vs. Bolingbrook

Off to the Races Under Armour All-American athlete Justin Hall takes one to the house. He finished with 332 total yards and four touchdowns vs. Bolingbrook

Donald Crocker

Donald Crocker

Off to the Races Under Armour All-American athlete Justin Hall takes one to the house. He finished with 332 total yards and four touchdowns vs. Bolingbrook

Bryce Stiff, Sports Editor

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The odds of going to a Division I school on a scholarship for football is less than one percent. The odds of becoming a Under Armour All-American seem unfathomable, unless your Athlete Justin Hall.

He is the first Under Armour All-American from H-F, which puts him in a class of his own. This game featured the best of the 2018 prospects that will be playing collegiately this fall.

Although an injury stopped him from participating in the actual game, the experience was one in a million for Hall.

“The feeling being down there with all the best players in the nation was something like no other,” Hall said. “It was just a feeling like you’ve made it already. Everyone treated us like we were already in the pros. Everyone was from all different places in America, but we all got along very well.”

Another thing that sets him apart is that he is one out of 94 committed student-athletes that were also selected to play, to commit to a mid-major Division I school over a Power 5 school.

The Power 5 conferences are the Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, ACC and SEC. Northern Illinois University is in the MAC conference.

This shows that although he is a three star recruit with a 72 scout grade on ESPN, he was still overlooked during his playing time at H-F. Perhaps due to his size, but the talent is undeniable.

“I’m surprised that every college in the country wasn’t calling him,” senior quarterback Kellyn Gerenstein said. “He’s the best player in the state and the hardest worker I know. Teams will regret passing him because he’s undersized, but it’s good he’s going to Northern Illinois. I don’t think I’m too surprised.”

He is going to NIU to work as a defensive back but did most of his damage as a running back throughout his high school career, which could have slowed down his recruiting trying to adjust to a new position.

“He can play any skill position on the field… except QB,” Gerenstein jokingly said. “He has natural ability. Defense will take more thinking from him. On offense he’s good enough to run through any gap and grind out at least 4 yards every play, no matter where it happens.”

This has not deterred him in any way. He feels like he has found his perfect fit and a new home. More importantly, he is put in a place that he will immediately be be an important role on defense.

“I don’t think he was underrated at all,” head coach Craig Buzea said. “He signed with a top 25 Program in the nation and will have a chance to play a lot and even start as a Freshmen. Justin couldn’t have selected a better place to showcase his talents on the Collegiate level.”

This was not a bad year from Northern Illinois, as they finished 8-5 in 2017 with a Bowl game loss to Duke University.

Something that you always hear is how infectious his energy is on and off the field. Justin’s dynamic personality definitely matches his dynamic performance on the field.

He is the type of teammate that makes everyone around him better and college coaches will immediately notice his impact.

“He is a coach’s dream,” Buzea said. “Never had to tell him to work harder…extremely motivated… lead by example… made everybody better around him.”

The college game will be a major transition for Hall, but he has undeniable talent beyond measure.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Undeniable talent”

  1. Avyon Hodges on February 2nd, 2018 2:39 pm

    I didn’t know he was going to play DB at NIU

    [Reply]

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