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Meet the Cardinal: Hall
Courtesy: Mark Soltau  
Release: 08/12/2014

STANFORD, Calif. - Austin Hall doesn’t recall much about his father’s 11-year NFL career. In fact, for a while, he didn’t really know what he did for a living.

“I remember the end of his career because I was 7 or 8,” said the Stanford freshman offensive tackle from Glendale, Ariz. “He didn’t really bring football home. He was just dad. He was always with us. He was taking care of me, my mom, my little brother and my sister.”

His father, Travis, played collegiately at BYU, then spent 10 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and one with the San Francisco 49ers. He played in 150 games, collected 451 tackles and 42 sacks.

From what Hall has heard, his father was a hard-working, no-nonsense defensive tackle.

“I was told by many that my dad was a workhorse,” said Hall, whom friends call 'A.T.' “Never stopped and was always studying.”

Hall lived in Atlanta for 15 years until the family moved to Phoenix four years ago. While growing up, his favorite sports were hockey and baseball – in that order.

“I played on a travel team made up from kids all over the southeast,” Hall said of hockey. “I also did that for baseball. We went to a new state every week. I pitched and played first base. I’ve done everything but wrestle and play soccer.”

The 6-foot-5, 296-pound Hall didn’t start playing football until his freshman year at Brophy, where former Cardinal outside linebacker Trent Murphy, a second-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins this year, starred. An astute instructor took one look at his size and encouraged him to try out.

“I was kind of forced upon it,” said Hall. “I walked into school one day and I didn’t know anybody because I had just moved from Atlanta. One of the teachers was like, ‘Son, are you on the freshmen team?’ And I was like, ‘No sir, I’m not.’ He said, ‘Why don’t you just come out? You’ll meet new friends and it’s not very hard.’ Finally, I did it. I’m here now.”

Asked about Murphy, Hall said, “He’s more than a legend. And I played with his little brother (Connor, a rising junior defensive end), so he was there quite a bit.”

Hall’s dad never pushed him to play football.

“He didn’t really talk about it,” Hall said. “We didn’t even start talking about it until I started playing.”

Besides, his father played defense.

“There’s so much to it,” said Hall. “It’s such a puzzle. It’s like a chess game. He never understood offense, and my offensive line coach played in the pros for 10 years and taught me a lot. I did learn a lot by talking to him the last few years about defense, and that helped me.”

Brophy ran a spread offense, so Hall’s run blocking was limited. But when they did run … “Whenever we ran power, we changed plays and pulled the tackle instead of the guard, just so I could pull,” said Hall. “It was so much fun. I loved smashing people.”

Which is why Stanford’s run-first philosophy was so appealing.

“That’s the kind of offense I wanted to be in,” he said.

Last year, Hall helped lead his team to a state title and was named the 41st-best offensive tackle in the country by Rivals. By then, he was already accepted at Stanford, thanks to an assist from his father.

When Hall was playing for the 49ers in 2005, he convinced his son to attend a Stanford football game during an off week.

“This is the place you want to be,” his father told him.

Hall was sold the moment he stepped on campus.

No one is more pleased than his mother, Tonya.

“The second Coach (Mike) Bloomberg called, I told my mom,” said Hall. “The next day I committed. You know you’re a Stanford man even before you are a Stanford man.”

Hall is leaning toward mechanical engineering or computer science as a major.

“One time I saved up all my money from the whole summer and built a computer,” he said. “I bought all the components, put it together, and learned how to code it on my own.”


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