Wednesday, August 15
(Photo by UGA Sports Communications)
By his senior year at the Wesleyan School, fullback Merritt Hall had pretty much given up on dreams of college football.
“I was actually thinking I wasn’t going to go play football anywhere," Hall said. "I was thinking along the lines of education and football, and I didn’t really like the schools that had offered me preferred walk-on already. I was actually considering going to a different school just to go to school.”
Little did he (or anyone else) realize that within two years he would be starting in the SEC.
But that appears to be exactly what is happening. A redshirt freshman, Hall continues to practice as Georgia's No. 1 fullback this fall and is line to retain that job when the season begins. In addition, he was awarded a full scholarship by Mark Richt this past weekend.
That's not bad for a player who had no scholarship offers out of high school.
"I guess they didn’t have enough scholarships or they just didn’t see a fit for me in their program," Hall said of various schools who showed interest but never offered, "which is fine, because I love where I’m at right now.”
Per Hall, it wasn't until his personal trainer, Ryan Goldin, suggested that he try to walk-on at UGA that Hall considered it. He contacted former O-Line coach Stacy Searels, and after reviewing some film, UGA did ask him to be a perferred walk-on in Athens.
Teammates have marveled at Hall's physicality, as evidenced by the fact he knocked the padding off a blocking sled at a recent practice.
"I was a walk-on, scout team," Hall said. "I had thoughts that, ‘Gosh, these coaches, I don’t even know if they know who I am.’ You kind of get that feeling. But you’ve just got to persevere through that. ... Never sell yourself short. Keep working hard no matter what, because you never know. You never know when that opportunity is going to come about. Mine came about during the spring, and when that opportunity does come, you want to make sure you’re doing everything right. And you want to show everything you’ve got and everything you’ve worked for, because you might only get one chance."
ON THE AGENDA
Scrimmage No. 2 of the preseason is set for around 4 p.m. this afternoon at Sanford Stadium. It's closed to media and the public, but as always, we'll have stats, reaction and a recap afterward.
LINK(S) OF THE DAY
The SEC has compiled all the athletes with conference ties who won medals during the London Olympics.
Former and current SEC athletes combined to win 58 medals, which would be fifth among all nations.
TWEET(S) OF THE DAY
Shout out to all the girls that's got these weaves in bigger than my team mate big John Jenkins
"Hey man this might be a stupid question but how do you get upstairs?" #freshmanprobs #heresyoursign #youranidiot
OL Austin Long
I'd rather listen to a girl tell me about her cat than sit in this math class
How many classes can we drop again?
A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. A fool has to learn from his own mistakes!
I guess a girl saying she have a boyfriend dont mean nun no more
RB Ken Malcome
The Maury show is the only thing getting me through the day right now lol #mauryshow #greatestshowonearth
Former UGA TE Aron White
Having a good pre-season so far. Guys making great strides!!! Blessed to be a DAWG
RB coach Bryan McClendon
Some of these girls walking around campus look tired as hell. They sweatin and breathing all hard lol. Y'all better get in shape.
Kicking it in the basketball locker room. Perfect little duck off for a nap between classes
TE Jay Rome
Gotta love that moment when Fall is here and its time for football so blessed I'm here at Georgia #havinagoodday
OL Zach DeBell
Life is short...Go no huddle...
UNC coach Larry Fedora