- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Back home his friends call him Young Julio, so it only makes sense that ESPN 300 athlete Davion Hall (Texarkana, Ark./Liberty-Eylau) would consider the University of Alabama, home of the original Julio, Julio Jones.
Hall, a Baylor commit since February, has had his interest piqued by an offer from the Crimson Tide. Against Baylor’s best wishes, he and his family made the trip to Alabama for the first time this week. The visit lasted three days.
“It was real good,” Hall said. “I enjoyed the facilities, the new stuff, the weight room -- that was the biggest one I had ever seen. They showed me around. It was one of the best campuses, really. It was big. It had a lot of stuff around it, a lot of memories anyway. I like how they’ve got the national championships engraved in the ground. That’s nice.”
Hall arrived on Wednesday, the same day that Alabama finished its recruit camp, but the Texas native didn’t participate in any drills. He did however have the opportunity to watch current Tide players work out as they prepared for the start of fall camp.
“I like how the players get out there on their own and do 7-on-7 together as a team,” Hall said. “It shows that they work together a lot. That’s something I like.”
The highlight of the trip might have come on Thursday when he sat down with Nick Saban. Despite spending part of the day in Birmingham for SEC media days, the Alabama head coach still found time to meet with the high school star.
“I enjoyed talking to Coach Saban,” the No. 74-ranked player said. “He was telling me all about the program and how they make players better and develop them in all types of ways -- as a player and as a person. He was talking about the national championships and when they go to the White House. That’s something I’d love to do.”
Hall met with a number of Tide assistant coaches as well, including his recruiting coordinator Billy Napier. The big question is where to play the 6-foot-2, 194-pound athlete. Is he better suited for offense or defense? Alabama is going to let him decide if he chooses to go there.
“Really, I’ll play either way,” Hall said. “I wouldn’t mind playing both. On offense, I like to make plays. On defense, I like to make plays and hit people. It’s whatever helps the team win. I’m just that type of person.”
For now, Hall is still committed to Baylor. He wants to wait until after his senior season before he makes any major decisions. Still, the Tide are giving him a lot to think about.
“They’re No. 1 in the country,” he said. “They win a lot of games and they’re in the championship almost every year. I saw that they work hard. That’s really the main thing.”
The ESPN 300 star is already setting up a return trip to Tuscaloosa in November for his official visit on the weekend when the Tide host LSU. He also wants to take official visits to Arkansas, Oregon, Texas A&M and of course, Baylor.
3dEdward Aschoff and Alex Scarborough
3dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf