Nov. 11, 2005
Rover Kyler Hall entered his redshirt senior year with a new outlook on football after an unclear future last season.
In what was supposed to be his senior season, the Live Oak, Fla., native had looked into redshirting 2004 before it began, but injuries to his defensive backfield teammates forced him into the lineup.
He made an instant impact, forcing a fumble that teammate Antonio Cromartie picked up and returned for what would be the only Seminole touchdown in a heart-breaking loss to in-state rival Miami last season.
“When B.J. Ward got hurt we didn’t have enough people, so we had to play him,” defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews said. “Low and behold, Kyler got hurt. There is no doubt that it helped him. It gave him an extra spring to work and an extra summer to prepare. The only way that it worked is because he made it work.”
It would be in the Miami game that Hall suffered the injury that would eventually cause him to miss the rest of last season. “I ended up getting hurt during the Miami game with a pretty bad stinger,” Hall said. ”
“The weeks of practice following the game it kept getting worse. The Clemson game was the last game I played. I couldn’t take the pain anymore.”
Hall was in limbo about his next move after his injury.
“I didn’t get the word from the NCAA about the redshirt until the end of the year,” Hall recalled. “I had to wait the whole season wondering whether or not I was going to get the redshirt. It wasn’t fun at all every weekend my parents were asking if I have heard anything.
“I was in the training room in January when Randy (Oravetz) came up to me and told me that I was granted the medical redshirt. It was definitely a big relief because I had been sitting around the whole season wondering if my college career was going to be over or not.”
Luckily for the Seminoles he was able to get a medical redshirt and rejoin his teammates on the field. The experience that Hall brings to the Seminole secondary is invaluable.
“In the secondary, he is the most vocal guy we have in terms of talking and making checks,” Andrews said. “He calls on the guys to reach down, whether they are on the goal line or whether it is third-and-long. It doesn’t matter the situation.”
“It was definitely different last year when I got hurt,” Hall said. “I got a chance to sit back and really watch
how the game was played. I watched Jerome Carter a lot and saw the way that he carried himself and the way that he was a leader. I learned more last year than any other year I have been here. I can now see why
coaches get frustrated in practice if we are not having a good one.”
When he returned this season, it didn’t look like there was any rust that needed to be knocked off. He had a day to remember in the season opener against Miami by recording 19 tackles and an interception that set up the only touchdown of the game.
“Miami is my favorite team to play against,” Hall said. “You have to bring your `A’ game when you play Miami. It is one of the biggest rivalries in college football. That is one game that I love and I tend to step up in it. I have been fortunate being in the right place at the right time.”
That experience has helped Hall.
Entering the Duke game, Hall is tied for third on the team in total tackles with 36, tied for first in interceptions with two, and tied for second for pass breakups.
“My whole focus and concentration level has changed,” Hall said. “The way that I approach the game has changed, as well as my faith.
“I am set to graduate in December so I am only taking one class. That pretty much gives me a chance to focus on nothing but football.
“I wake up, come to the stadium, go to practice and watch film. I don’t have to worry about going to class the whole time. It is pretty much just having fun and playing football. I have mentally prepared differently
Entering the season, head coach Bobby Bowden named Hall a defensive team captain.
He has done nothing to let his teammates down in his role.
“We redshirted him last year, and it looks like it really paid off,” Bowden said. “He has really been an important factor in there this year. He is a smart player who has played smart football.”
As Hall continues to move forward in his senior season he wants to help lead this Seminole team into the ACC championship game. It is what he wants to be remembered for that makes him strive to work hard day in and day out.
“Since I have been playing sports, my dad has always told me to be a leader,” Hall said. “Be the first up in the drills, always hustle, and always work hard.
“When I leave here I want people to remember that I was the guy who always gave everything he had, had fun on the field and was a leader.”
By Andy Cunningham
FSU Sports Information