Hall chooses Tennessee over 'Hoos, Hokies - Cavalier Insider: Cavalier Insider

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Hall chooses Tennessee over 'Hoos, Hokies

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Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014 8:31 pm

As he wrapped up preparations for the press conference where he would announce his college choice, Northside football standout Chance Hall dispatched his mother in search of hats for Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Donna Hall drove all the way to Gatlinburg, Tenn., on Wednesday before she could find them.

If he had known he wasn't going to put on a Tennessee hat, would Hall have allowed his mother to make a 520-mile round trip?

"Probably not," said Hall, who said his final choice came down to the Volunteers and Vanderbilt.

His other finalists were Virginia, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.

Hall, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive and defensive lineman, said he hopes to graduate from Northside in time to enroll at Tennessee for the second semester. That was one of the reasons he moved up his decision date.

It was a path similar to the one chosen by Fort Chiswell offensive lineman Coleman Thomas, a fellow All-Timesland choice whom Hall met at a photo shoot last winter. After graduating from Fort Chiswell, Thomas earned a starting spot at Tennessee this spring.

"We've been texting a lot and talking about it," Hall said. "He had a big role in the decision."

Hall recently attended a Tennessee recruiting function, "Orange Carpet Day," held last month.

"I went to Knoxville three or four times and after each time I felt more comfortable," Hall said. "I love the fan support and the atmosphere. That was a big factor. It's big-time football in a big-time conference."

There were some interesting dynamics involved in Hall's decision, namely his parents' respective affiliation. His mom is a Virginia Tech graduate and his father, Bo, is a University of Virginia fan.

"He grew up a Wahoo from just a little thing," said Bo Hall, who regularly took his oldest child to football games at Scott Stadium. "I think they all assumed that he was going there because I'm a big UVa fan and they all knew that.

"I just found out yesterday [that Tennessee was the choice]. I was shocked. Today he told me for sure. You know, his mom's a Hokie and I'm a Wahoo and I think maybe he didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings in the family. But he's my son and I'm going to support him wherever he goes."

Chance did not hesitate when asked if Tennessee was a compromise choice.

"It really wasn't," he said.

His mom could see that. She wasn't surprised at his choice of the Vols.

"We had actually talked about going back another time, taking a visit and spending the night," Donna Hall said. "I pretty much knew that's where he wanted to go, that he was comfortable there, but I did not get a hat because we were planning on going back again.

"He was ready to be done. He's been hinting at it. I did go to Tech and I have a masters from UVa. Chance was always a UVa fan but he wasn't going to play favorites with mom and dad. I went with him on all his visits and this was where he felt most at ease.

"Tennessee definitely was the best fit for him."

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