Dennis Hall, a 5-11, 185-pound wide receiver recruit from Pahokee High, has laid out a blueprint for how he plans to conquer Florida A&M in the fall.
“I’ve got my mind set on taking the school over when I get there,” Hall said. “I’m pretty excited about coming to FAMU.”
No, the newly signed Rattler is not trying to dethrone President James Ammons.
However, the same cannot be said about a few players on FAMU’s roster. Returning receivers Adrian Smith, Isaac West and Kevin Elliot all had productive seasons in 2009, but Hall is not backing down from the challenge of having to earn his spot on the field.
His fearlessness and “competitive spirit” are among the main attributes that impressed head coach Joe Taylor.
“When it came crunch time, he was a guy who normally came through and delivered,” Taylor said referring to Hall’s game-winning 19-yard touchdown catch in the 2008 Class 2B state title game.
Hall chose to play for FAMU over the likes of Villanova, a school whose football program is still posing in the mirror with their 2009 FCS (formerly 1-AA) championship trophy, and Appalachian State, most famous for their historic upset victory over the University of Michigan in 2007.
“When I went on my visits it felt like a family. I felt welcomed there,” Hall said of his official visit to FAMU prior to National Signing Day.
“They treat you right, I’ll get a good education, and everything just fit right. They treated me right man, I felt like this was the school that fit me,” said Hall.
This summer, in preparation for a successful freshman season, Hall will be train with his cousin, NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin is also from Pahokee and attended Pahokee High. Ironically, he too played his collegiate football in Tallahassee, but at Florida State.
At one point, Hall even donned number 81 on his jersey like his big cousin, but said that it is time to create his own legacy.
“I switched to number 11 because I wanted my own identity. Everybody kept saying, ‘he’s Anquan Boldin’s cousin, that’s why he got 81.'”
“Now I’ve got my own name.”
Hall has heard the negative voices tell him more times than once that, although they are related, he is no Anquan Boldin. He also has had to endure being an afterthought on a high school team that included highly touted players such as WR Chris Dunkley (Florida) and WR De’Joshua Johnson (Florida State).
With the talent that Pahokee had last season, it would have been easier to notice a 3-year-old standing between Cecil Bent and Yannick Crowder, but Hall is ready to prove that his clutch catches from the past two seasons were not flukes.
“When I get to FAMU, you’ll see what’s going to happen. You’ll see all the big plays I’m going to make. Trust me, you’ll see.”