Hall helps monitor the line for Pack
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Recruiting has always been called an inexact science because coaches aren’t always right, and Nevada guard Greg Hall is proof of that.
Hall, an honorable mention all-region selection at Dobson High School (Mesa, Ariz.), got zero recruiting offers during the early recruiting effort. He appeared headed for a nearby community college, and he had probably played his last game of football.
Then a funny thing happened.
Chris Klenakis, Nevada’s offensive line coach, was on campus recruiting one of Hall’s younger teammates. Hall’s coach pulled him out of class to meet Klenakis.
“He asked me what my SAT score was, and told me to send him some film,” Hall said, as Nevada prepared for its home opener against Nicholls State on Saturday night. “They had a couple of open spots, and we went from there.”
Klenakis obviously liked what he saw, and Hall was put on scholarship. He is still toiling in relative obscurity, however. When offensive linemen are mentioned, you don’t hear Hall’s name as often as you do Dominic Green and Charles Manu. He doesn’t care. He’s all about doing the job.
“It’s been like that my whole career (high school and college),” Hall said. “I didn’t get recruited except for here. I’m more of a quiet leader I’d say. I just try to get the job done, nothing too special.
“I don’t strive for the limelight. That may be why I don’t get noticed very much.”
Klenakis, who doesn’t dole out praise too often, likes his junior guard.
“He’s steady,” Klenakis said. “My expectation of Greg is to be an all-conference player. He started all 13 games last year. By the end of last year, he was playing really well, and he’s picked up where he left off.
“He’s a program kid. He redshirted his first year, played a little as a freshman and then started last year. The credit goes to him. He works really hard. He plays hard and works hard.”
Playing offensive line is always a work in progress, and Hall admits that it’s been a big adjustment, both physically and mentally. No longer can he get by on his physical attributes.
“You have to play a lot harder,” Hall said. “You have to play hard every snap. You have to think before every play. In high school I played high and hit people once in a while.
“I’m working on getting my pad level down. My footwork in pass protection, I’m just getting into some bad habits. He (Klenakis) is always telling me to play like the all-conference player I can be. That’s something I’m shooting for. I’m not there right now, but I’m getting there.”
One thing that has helped his progress is his strength. Hall considers himself one of the strongest offensive linemen on the squad. He was named the best lifter at the East Valley (Arizona) Regional Championships.
“From a weightroom standpoint, I’ve always been blessed,” Hall said. “I had a real good high school weight program. I always got stronger. I was really lucky.”
Hall doesn’t mind dwelling on the past, but not for a long time. His first priority is to help get the Nevada offense back on track. Nevada made significant progress last week against Northwestern, and Hall believes the offensive line is getting better.
“I really think we’re coming together,” Hall said. “Game experience really helped. Having Dom out slowed things down a little early because he was playing at a different level.
“We’ll get there.
“It’s just going to take a little more time. Everybody is working hard.”
Notes: Back-up punter Tom Barcia has left the team. He kicked 12 times early last year for a 37.4 average, but was beaten out by Zachary Whited … Center Dominic Green is not expected to play Saturday, but is expected to return for the WAC opener Oct. 6 against Fresno State … Coach Chris Ault will appear at next week’s Quarterback Club luncheon to be held at Bully’s. The cost is $13.50. Contact Heather Pennington at 784-6900 for more information.
•Contact DarrellMoody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281
THE HALL FILE
Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.
Year in school: Junior