Sept. 12, 2005
Senior punter Chris Hall may just have a “leg up” on the other punters in the Atlantic Coast Conference this year. Viewed as one of the top punters in the league, Hall returns for his senior season after ranking third in the ACC with a 42.1 punting average in 2004.
It has not been an easy road for the strong-legged kid from Centreville, Va., however. Hall came to Florida State as a walk-on in the fall of 2001. To Florida State’s delight, he spurned scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Michigan State and Penn State, just to name a few, for a chance to be a Seminole.
When Hall came to Florida State, he knew he would face an uphill battle in becoming the starting punter.
Challenges, however, are nothing new to Hall. At the age of 12, Chris received news that would from then on make his everyday life a challenge, being diagnosed with diabetes.
“I had just moved to Virginia when I found out,” Hall said. “I was having a lot of problems and just felt like everything was going bad in my life. It was affecting everything. I had just moved from Alabama and was going to a new school. I was not making the grades that I had in the past. I was always tired and falling asleep in class. The thing that told my family and me that there was a problem was when I lost 42 pounds in about a month.”
It was then that Hall went to the doctor and found out just exactly what he would be carrying with him the rest of his life.
“The doctor told me that if I had waited any longer before going to the hospital, I could have gone into a coma or even possibly have died,” Hall said.
The doctor immediately put Hall on insulin to help battle his high blood sugar.
“My blood sugar was so high that it would not even register on the doctor’s computer,” Hall explained. “I was not able to leave the hospital until I had learned to give myself shots.”
After spending a week in the hospital, Hall was released into what would become his new life. During his freshman year of high school, he was a standout fullback and punter but he soon started having problems that led to failed physicals.
“My doctor told me that my diabetes wasn’t under control and I wasn’t allowed to play any sports until I got a handle on it,” he said.
Hall promised the doctor that he would give up playing fullback and just concentrate on punting and get his diabetes under control if she would allow him to play again.
“My high school coach told me that if I worked hard enough I would be able to get a college scholarship,” Hall said. “He told me that he had coached a guy that went to UCLA to punt and that I was as talented
as he was.”
From that point on, Hall became very serious about regulating the disease and improving his punting because he knew without the one, he wouldn’t be able to pursue the other. Over the years, Hall has
learned his limits but has not allowed them to stand in the way of his goals. In order to keep himself regulated, it is very rare to see Hall walking around campus, out in public, or around his house without
having his green insulin bag with him.
“I have to take about six shots a day,” Hall said. “I test my blood sugar about four or five times a day. I just monitor it during games and if need be, I will take an insulin shot or drink some Powerade to regulate
Hall is quick to discuss his situation with others because he wants to be an example to young people who also may be stricken with diabetes.
“Whenever the opportunity arises, I like to get out and talk to kids about having diabetes,” Hall said. “I have done work with the diabetes foundation at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. I like to get out to football camps and talk to parents and children with diabetes and let them know that there is no reason that they should let diabetes stop them from doing what they want to when it comes to athletics, as long as you keep it under control.”
Not only has Hall been able to gain control of his diabetes, he also has been able to gain a grip on his grades. He was named to the Dean’s List in both the fall and spring semesters last academic year
and is set to graduate in December with a degree in sports management.
If a career in professional football doesn’t work out, Hall would like to be able to eventually manage and run golf courses.
Hall has come a long way. Through hard work on and off the field, he earned a scholarship just prior to the 2003 season.
He plans to lead the Seminoles to the ACC championship game in his final season, where he said he hopes the opponent will be Virginia Tech, playing against friends from back home as well as his younger brother, who is a true freshman punter with the Hokies.
By Andy Cunningham
FSU Sports Information