No more redshirt: UA freshman Hall ready for season debutby Anthony Gimino on Sep. 23, 2009, under Sports
Adam Hall, the gem of Arizona’s 2009 recruiting class, won’t have to watch from the sidelines anymore.
Arizona had been trying to redshirt the freshman from Palo Verde High School, but that plan is out the window after three games.
Backup senior safety Brandon Tatum — who never made an impact on the field despite being one of the most physically gifted Wildcats in terms of weight room tests — has left the team for “personal issues,” according to coach Mike Stoops.
So, Hall gets elevated to second-string and, at the very least, will immediately help on special teams when Arizona plays at Oregon State this Saturday.
“He’s really dying to get on the field, so we’ll see what he can do,” special teams coach Jeff Hammerschmidt said after Wednesday’s practice. “Once he does, there is no turning back.”
Hall could play right away on all the major special teams groups — kick and punt coverage, kick and punt return. So, too, could freshman tight end Terrence Miller, who also is being activated from his redshirt season to help in the passing game after the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Hall, 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, is a terrific athlete who did everything in high school. Miller is 6-4, 220.
“Both those guys are tall, athletic guys who are good in space,” Hammerschmidt said. “Both of those guys need to get going, and they can help.”
Special teams could use a boost because of the loss of Tito Foster, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener. That’s not a name every UA fan would recognize, and it’s an injury that kind of went under the radar, but he was a valuable special teams player.
Hall is a name everyone recognizes. He earned several national honors after his senior season of high school — including Parade All-American, and he was selected the Tucson Citizen high school football Player of the Year. He picked Arizona over Cal and Oregon.
At safety, he will be behind senior Cam Nelson, one of the leaders of the defense.
What advice has he gotten from Nelson?
“Just to watch tape and be patient, and play to the technique,” Hall said. “Coaches have taught us well, and just listen to what they teach and implement it every play of the game. Just remember what we do in practice, and play football.”
Hall’s high school honors/awards
Parade All-American, U.S. Army All-American (played in All-American Bowl in San Antonio), MaxPreps.com second-team All-American, Super Prep All-American, selected to play in the Hawaii/Polynesian vs. Mainland Bowl all-star game, Tucson Citizen Player of the Year, Arizona Republic big schools Player of the Year, Arizona Daily Star Player of the Year, Arizona Football Coaches Association First Team All-State (two times).