CEDAR HILL, Texas — In case you don’t know him, allow Xavier Hall to introduce himself.
For starters, Hall is senior middle linebacker for a perennial power Cedar Hill team that is amongst the finest in Texas.
As arguably one of the Longhorns’ most efficient and durable pass rushers who has built a reputation for providing fits to the opposition, Hall has gone to great lengths to boost his recruiting stock, considering he is currently ranked as the 14th best high school linebacker in Texas, according to Maxpreps.com.
Add to the fact this resilient athlete — the nation’s 91st overall player for the Class of 2016 by Maxpreps — has improved immensely in the offseason, and it’s no wonder that Hall appears well on his way to signing a National Letter of Intent less than three months from now.
National Signing Day is February 3.
As Hall, 6-foot, 195-pounder tells it, given he has been afforded the golden opportunity to put his skills on display for a tradition-rich Cedar Hill program is amongst the greatest factors that has given way to his drawing rave reviews from a host of college scouts and recruiters.
“My family always says don’t be scared to go after what I want and I should know how to get it on my own,” Hall told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “Being a football player is exciting. It keeps me busy and there is never a dull moment, especially having my own decorated locker and being a part of an (animated) locker room.”
While establishing camaraderie with teammates has contributed mightily to his success on the field, whether his final prep season ends with a state championship or not, Hall doesn’t shy away from the notion that playing football on Saturdays around this time next year is undoubtedly his No. 1 priority.
After all, as far as he’s concerned, he senses he’s done the necessary things to sway colleges to extend to him a full ride scholarship.
“(Football) was the first sport I played and found a liking for it,” Hall said. “And also I felt it would be my gateway out of what people call the hood. My family has been very supportive of me and my choice of playing football. They always push me to my limit and tell me to strive for excellence.”
Fortunately for Hall, it’s safe to assume that a few colleges have discovered the true talent he has become since bursting on the high school scene four years ago.
That’s because according to Hall, the University of Houston, Southeastern Oklahoma State, Langston University, Lamar University, and Cisco Jr. College are amongst the schools that have expressed interest in him as his prep career draws near.
Cedar Hill (9-1) plays Carroll (8-2) Friday night at 7:30 in the second round of the Texas Class 6A playoffs.
Among Hall’s biggest supporter is his mother Jontil Hall, who has become a fixture at virtually each of her son’s games. In assessing her son’s career at Cedar Hill, Jontil Hall acknowledges she’s mostly impressed at how well-disciplined he’s been in what undoubtedly is a pivotal season for Xavier.
“I wasn’t surprised to know he would play in high school because he played in middle school and also throughout pop warner (recreational league),” Jontil Hall said. “Words can’t express the happiness I feel for my son. Being a single mother hasn’t been easy, but very well worth it. I thank God that my son has kept a level head throughout all the struggles and cards he has been dealt.
Also, I’m proud to say that I’ve never had to go to school for any class skipping, disruptions, or fighting. My visit to school has only been for football. That’s a blessing.”
A blessing that, fortunately for Xavier Hall, appears likely to continue on Saturdays around this time next year.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.