Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt has a clear vision of the type of linebacker he wants to bring to Rocky Top.
Pruitt’s 3-4 system works best with long, athletic linebackers who can blend speed with power. Enter Class of 2019 outside linebacker Derick Hall from Gulfport, Miss. The Vols extended an offer to Hall on Wednesday.
“It was very surreal,” Hall told SEC Country. “It’s one that I couldn’t really believe.”
The 6-foot-4, 214-pound linebacker has good size. His 6-foot-8 wingspan is what makes him very intriguing to college coaches. Couple the size with his athleticism — he averaged a double-double in basketball and runs track — and Hall has all the makings of a difference-maker at the next level.
This is the exact profile of a prospect Pruitt and the staff will be targeting for the outside linebacker position.
Hall brings to the table exactly what Pruitt and his staff want from the edge position.
“It’s definitely rushing,” Hall said. “At my school, we play a 3-4, so I’m actually a true outside linebacker. So, I’m covering all of that. I’m very good at rushing and making sure tackles in the open field.”
Hall rates as a 4-star prospect and ranks as the No. 15 outside linebacker in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
One thing that might hurt the Vols in Hall’s recruitment is the recent shakeup in the coaching staff. Robert Gillespie was Hall’s primary recruiter before he reached a ‘mutual decision’ with Pruitt to part ways.
“It definitely matters, but I don’t think it’ll be that big of a hassle,” Hall said. “The next guy I start talking to, we’ll probably start building a relationship. I still have time. A relationship is key to me, but losing a staff member with this much time is not that big of a deal to me right now.”
There is already plenty of SEC competition for Hall. He’s being heavily recruited by Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn. The Ole Miss staff talks to him every day.
There is a lot of pride in the Magnolia State in playing for either Ole Miss or Mississippi State. The coast native is very open to playing outside the state, though, which is great news for Tennessee.
“I’d be fine going out of state,” Hall said. “It’s just about going to the program that fits me the best and the program that will develop me academically, as a person and athlete. I’m just looking for the place that fits me best and I can play ball at.”
Hall doesn’t have a visit to Knoxville planned. He said that will soon change and visiting the campus is a ‘must.’
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