Sept. 25, 2006
Senior wide receiver Robert Hallback keeps going and going. He has produced time after time his entire life.
In high school he was a standout three-sport athlete. He performed on the field as well as in the classroom and throughout the community. Growing up, the Plant City, Fla., native always figured baseball was in his future. Upon arriving here at Florida State, his initial plans were to go out for both baseball and football. He was inspired by the great Deion Sanders and past teammate and friend Dominic Robinson.
“It was something I wanted to accomplish, but when I got here it just didn’t work out that way,” Hallback said. “When I started playing football it was so time-consuming with lifting weights, studying, meetings and practice that I didn’t have a chance to devote as much time to baseball as football.”
He then set his hopes on some day earning a scholarship for football. Most considered him too small, but he did not cease to amaze. He showed tremendous character and strength as he met every challenge that presented itself.
Through the tough times and the tougher times he stood strong and never gave up.
“When I started here, I knew I was behind a lot of great receivers,” Hallback said. “It’s a process you have to deal with as a walk-on. You have to wait your turn, and when the time comes you have to do something with that opportunity. Every time they call your name you have to be ready to step forward.”
At the start of his sophomore year he began getting several more reps. Coaches gave him some encouraging advice, and Hallback noticed they were taking a serious look at him.
“I knew if I stayed with it and kept doing everything right, I had a real shot at getting that scholarship,” Hallback said. “I got in the mindset that I could do it. I focused in and worked hard in the off-season, and the next thing I knew, I had a scholarship. It was an incredible feeling.”
Now, in his senior year, the wide receiver plans to continue his incredible run and hopes to create another amazing story on the field in his final football season. He has high hopes of being more of an impact receiver for this Seminole offense.
“I’m rotating with Greg Carr in the three-receiver set. In the four-receiver set, known as the rifle set, I’m the fourth receiver coming into the game,” Hallback noted.
Hallback had a very productive off-season. He has been one of the leaders on the team during the past two
years in catch percentage. In addition, he is very confident in his route-running abilities. Therefore, he turned his attention elsewhere this summer.
“My plan was to work on speed,” Hallback said. “I ran through a number of speed drills and hit the
weights hard, but I definitely emphasized speed. I don’t have bad speed, but when people see shorter
players with my build they expect a fast, speedy guy. That’s probably what has hurt me most through-out
my career. I’m more of a quick and agile player. So I know I have to make up for it with my hands and precise routes.
“I live for the 10-15 yard routes where I run straight at the corner as if I’m going deep and stop on a dime, leaving him clueless,” he continues. “Whether I run a square or an out, I have the upper hand.”
Since his arrival, Hallback has learned from the veterans and from the leadership they have offered. Being one of only two seniors on the receiving squad this season, it is now time for him to step up and guide his fellow mates.
“There are different types of leadership,” Hallback said. “Some guys are more vocal and others lead by example on the playing field. Me, I talk when it’s needed. I like to show my leadership on the field. If the younger guys see me working hard, it motivates them to play with the same aggressiveness.”
For Hallback, the end of the road is not here.
“Personally, I feel like I’ve worked too hard and have come such a long way that for me to stop after my college career would be pointless,” Hallback said.
It is a tough road to the NFL considering that it is everyone’s dream in this sport and he knows it.
“Everything is a process. Whatever may come my way, whatever happens, I’m going to deal with it,” Hallback said.
“You never know. You may catch someone’s eye and they might just take a chance on you.”
Hallback knows that the opportunity is there, but he is prepared for life outside of football if things do not go as planned.
“If it works, it works,” Hallback added. “If not, I can always fall back on academics and other things I’m trying to pursue in the business world.”
Whether it’s football or other endeavors in his future, one thing is certain — he will not stop trying, he will give it his very best and he will keep going and going.
By Ben Murphy Florida State Sports Information