Nov. 3, 2012
If one looks up the definition of adversity in the dictionary it will read "a condition marked by misfortune." Ohio State running back Jordan Hall has learned the definition of adversity the hard way, by having to overcome it. Coming into the 2012 football season, Hall was the favorite to start at running back. The three-year letterwinner from Jeannette, Pa., ranks No. 25 all-time at Ohio State with more than 2,500 all-purpose yards for his career as a talented running back, receiver and return man. All of the expectations for Hall's senior season changed when he injured his foot in the off-season and needed surgery, which sidelined him throughout pre-season camp and the first three weeks of the season. However, in Hall's opinion, overcoming adversity only makes him stronger.
"Missing camp and the games was one of the toughest things I've ever had to do," Hall said. "To have to stand by and watch all my teammates work so hard to get better and not be a part of it was torture."
The 5-foot-9-inch, 192-pound halfback finally made it back on the field for the game vs. California Sept. 15, just in time to fill in for the injured Carlos Hyde. He rushed for 192 yards between the Cal game and the UAB game Sept. 22. With only 34 attempts, he averaged of 5.6 yards per carry which made him the second best rusher on the team at the time, behind only quarterback Braxton Miller. Misfortune struck again when in the Michigan State game Sept. 29, after scoring a touchdown, Hall injured his knee in the second half. He has been unable to play since, missing the games vs. Nebraska Oct. 6, at Indiana Oct. 13 and vs. Purdue Oct. 20.
"I'm not used to being injured, it's tough," Hall said. "I just got back on the field only to be hurt again. I just don't like being sidelined."
Although Hall would prefer to lead by example and the team would like to have his shiftiness and speed in the backfield, he has found a new respect for the game he loves despite not being able to play. As a senior, Hall has endured four camps, four off-seasons, and various other challenges, but being injured is one of the most difficult situations he has been through. Trying to stay optimistic in the face of overwhelming adversity, Hall has taken it upon himself to try and teach the younger guys what is expected of them and what they have to do if they want to win.
One aspect of the game most influenced by Hall's absence has been special teams. As the kick-off return man, Hall has amassed more than 1,000 yards in his career.
"Kick returns are just another chance to have the ball in your hands and make a play," Hall said. "When you make a big play on special teams it energizes the stadium and the team. It is a great feeling."
In addition to setting an example for the underclassmen and reflecting upon kick-off returns, Hall has reminisced about his time at Ohio State during the last four years. Most notably Hall has appreciated the relationships and friendships he has been able to build. Whether it is with his teammates, coaches or former players, for Hall the people is what makes Ohio State a great place to be.
Whether on the field or on the sideline, Hall has made his presence felt as a senior leader of the Ohio State football team and is the embodiment of the program's ability to overcome adversity.
By John W. Samuelson, Athletics Communications