Robert Hall was kind enough to sit down with me a few weeks ago for another in our summer question and answer series. In this, he talks about German French fries, the joy of math, and the toughest player to tackle in the ACC.
AJC: A lot of the players I’ve talked to, when I’ve asked them for a player that really stood out in spring, they named you. So what does it feel like to be invincible out there on the football field?
RH: (laughs) I wouldn’t say invincible. I mean, I just feel like it’s my time. I waited my time. It’s time for me to step up to the plate. That’s it.
AJC: What did you learn from the guys before you?
RH: What did I learn? Play as an entire unit, and not just as an individual. I guess you wouldn’t say each one of them alone was really the greatest. But all together they made a great defense. Really liked that teamwork.
AJC: How does that work on the defensive line? You’re out on the end, you’re trying to focus on what’s ahead of you, but also, I don’t know if you are paying attention to what the other three guys are doing, or are you just trusting them?
RH: Has a lot to do with trust and assignment. In our defense you have to know what the other guys are doing on the line. If you have contain, and you lose your contain, you might hang somebody else out to dry. It’s very important to know where your teammates are and what they are doing.
AJC: Do you and the other linemen hang out off the field? What do y’all do?
RH: Most of all we do class. Go out to eat. Hang out in the rooms. Play video games.
AJC: Where’s y’all’s favorite place to go?
RH: The room. The room is the favorite. Play video games.
AJC: Who is the video game king, and what game is it?
RH: Everybody professes to be the king in (EA Sports) NCAA.
AJC: Which team do you play?
RH: It depends, Probably Florida because they are No. 1, so…
AJC: Have you played against Georgia Tech when you are Florida?
RH: No, but I have played the older versions that had Georgia Tech.
AJC: So, who do you think really stepped up in the spring practice.
RH: A lot of the younger guys. Maybe not one individual. Tev Washington worked hard and solidified his place. A lot of young guys broke out. Embry Peeples broke out. Anthony Allen had a big spring game. Overall, showed us a lot of depth, I feel like.
AJC: So what classes are you taking right now?
RH: Financial management, consulting, finite math.
AJC: What is finite math?
RH: Finite math deals with probabilities of accounting. Accounting stuff. A lot of real world stuff.
I like financial math because it helps you learn about money and how to invest it and deal with that.
AJC: A couple of questions I’ve asked all the guys. Y’all’ve got a tough beginning to the schedule, Jacksonville State, and then Clemson and Miami back-to-back with a short turn between Jacksonville State and Clemson. What is going to be the key to getting off to a good start this year?
RH: Key is right now us preparing and training. Our conditioning is pretty intense. That will help us transition for those games and those quick turnarounds.
AJC: In your experience from last year, who is the toughest defender to play against in the ACC?
RH: I would say the quarterback from Virginia Tech, Tyrod Taylor. Really shifty.
AJC: You’ve talked about what you do outside of class, but what’s the most fun for you? What do you like to do most?
RH: I like to eat. I have been to many restaurants around here.
AJC: What’s your favorite restaurant?
RH: Most recently I like this spot called Ecco, off of Spring Street. It’s pretty good.
AJC: What kind of food?
RH: Everything from trout to french fries. Called pomme frites, because of German (origins).
AJC: Do any cooking?
RH: All the time.
AJC: What do you cook?
RH: Last night I made queso dip.
AJC: Which teams do you follow?
RH: Like the Falcons, of course. I used to be a big Hornets fans when they were in Charlotte. But that’s old school.
AJC: How much do you bench?
RH: My reps have been increasing. We max out last week. Might tip out over 400. My last max was 385.
AJC: Are you the strongest on the team?
AJC: Who is strongest?
RH: Hard to say. A couple of guys. Pound for pound, Roddy Jones, Marcus Wright. I’d say Roddy, pound for pound.
AJC: What would surprise people to know about you?
RH: I was born in Germany, stayed there nine years.
AJC: Dad military?
AJC: So you remember some German?
RH: I went to German school. Moved here in 96, didn’t get involved in football until eighth grade.
AJC: What got you out there?
RH: Coach was like ‘you’re big, so why don’t you play?’
AJC: Did you like it?
RH: I was kind of in a unique situation (at Hawkinsville). We had a lot of DI talent, kind of just trickled down. Lot of spotlight on the school. It helped me get where I want to go. It was a good situation. Two championships, three Dome appearances.
AJC: Anything to say to the Tech fans who read the blog?
RH: Thank you for your support. Spring game, biggest turnout we’ve seen since been here. Go Jackets.