Playing With Purpose
Oct. 19, 2013
After just six quarters of action in his then-senior season, fifth-year senior Jordan Hall was given a second chance. After suffering a torn posterior cruciate knee ligament against Michigan State last season, Hall was granted a medical redshirt to return for another year. With a chance to continue to make his dreams a reality, the Jeannette Pa., native is seizing every moment as a member of the Scarlet and Gray.
"When I found out I could come back last season, I was so excited," Hall said. "All I wanted was to be back out there with my team."
Hall, who is wearing No. 2 for the Buckeyes this season, started the first four games of the campaign at running back, rushing for a career-high 168 yards and collecting a career-high three rushing touchdowns at California Sept. 14. In a position where depth and talent are not in short supply, his competitive nature and versatility have earned him playing time on the offensive and special teams units.
"There's a lot of competition between [the running backs], but off the field we're really close," Hall said. "We want to see each other do well. Now that Big Ten games have started, it's just going to be more fun and more competitive."
With a fresh slate and at full strength, Hall has certainly capitalized on his opportunities this season. Through five games, he has collected 499 all-purpose yards, along with a team-best eight touchdowns. Playing in a hybrid, all-purpose role, Hall has elevated his game to be a threat whenever the ball is placed in his hands.
"I want to be someone who can make plays," Hall said. "Running back is my favorite position, but no matter where I am, I want to be a playmaker for my team."
In his career, Hall has seen action in 41 games to account for 3,264 all-purpose yards (1,459 rush, 267 receiving and 1,224 special teams) to average 79.6 yards per game. His all-purpose total ranks 13th in program history, while his 79.6 all-purpose yards per game average holds the No. 20 spot in the Ohio State record books.
Hall, an all-state basketball player and 1,000-point scorer at Jeannette High School, utilizes his speed and footwork to beat defenders and be an impactful player on special teams.
"A lot of the skills from basketball carry over into my game now with special teams," Hall said. "Special teams play a big role in field position and is something our coaches really stress. If we win on special teams, we have a big advantage in winning the game."
To add to his accolades, Hall is third all-time with 1,186 career kickoff return yards and fifth all-time in Ohio State history with a career kickoff return average of 27.0 yards. Reflecting on his career at Ohio State, Hall indicates the best is yet to come.
"It's my last year, so I'm trying to take it all in," Hall said. "With missing time last year, I don't want to take anything for granted. Everybody tells me it's the best time of your life, so I'm just trying to embrace it. I'm hoping my best memory here hasn't happened yet."
By Chelsea Zoellner, Athletics Communications