Virginia Tech Football: Flashback Friday for Hokie great DeAngelo Hall

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Electric Virginia Tech football defensive back DeAngelo Hall parlayed an exciting college career into a lengthy run in the NFL.

To say former Virginia Tech football great DeAngelo Hall was fast is a criminal understatement.

Hall’s best 40-yard dash during his time at Virginia Tech was reportedly 4.15 seconds. It was hand-timed and inside of Tech’s Rector Field House on a notoriously fast track surface, so the number is likely a bit inflated. Still, it gives one a sense of the incredible speed he brought to the table.

A product of Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Va., Hall lettered in football, basketball, and track to much acclaim.

During his senior season of football, Hall ran for over 1,300 yards and 30 touchdowns on offense. Defensively, he intercepted nine passes to go along with more than 100 tackles, 16 of which were for loss.

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For his efforts, Hall was named a SuperPrep All-American and earned Tidewater Player of the Year honors. The Roanoke Times rated Hall the second best player in Virginia behind fellow Tech recruit Bryan Randall.

As a freshman, Hall played in all of Tech’s 11 games recording 42 tackles with three pass break-ups and three interceptions. Tech made the Gator Bowl where it lost to Florida State.

His sophomore season saw Hall return punts in addition to his duties on defense. In the season-opener against Arkansas State, He took a punt back 69 yards for a touchdown and later returned an interception 49 yards for another TD.

For the season, he averaged 16 yards per return and finished seventh in the nation in the category. As a corner he started 10 games and posted 36 solo tackles with four interceptions, 12 pass break-ups, and a forced fumble.

As a junior DeAngelo added some offensive plays to his repertoire. He caught seven passes for 86 yards and a score while adding two carries for 21 yards and another touchdown. On defense, Hall continued his stellar play with 44 solo tackles and 23 assists. He broke up five passes and intercepted one. He also forced and returned a fumble for a touchdown in a huge win over Miami. Bill Roth’s famous, “Give it to me Roscoe!” call, which is the first place on this mini-highlight reel.

Hall returned 33 punts for 487 yards (14.8 YPR) with three touchdowns. His defense shone brightest and was good enough to earn him semifinalist honors for the Thorpe Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive back.

After three productive seasons in Blacksburg, Hall decided to take his talents to the NFL where he was selected 8th overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2004 NFL Draft. As a rookie he made 35 tackles and intercepted two passes. He set a record becoming the youngest player to return an interception for a touchdown.

Hall made his first of three career Pro Bowls the following season as his star continued to rise.

For four full seasons, Hall was an intense force defensively and a somewhat controversial force always talking loads of trash to his opposing receivers. Never a shy man on or off the field, Hall combined the two and created some controversy when he supported teammate and fellow Hokie Michael Vick during Vick’s considerable legal troubles.

The Falcons played the Saints the day Vick was sentenced to 23-months in prison for charges relating to dogfighting. That night, Hall carried a large picture of Vick with him onto the field and wrote Vick’s initials and number on his eye black.

Largely in an effort to break free from the Vick controversy, the Falcons began rebuilding and part of that included trading Hall to the Oakland Raiders in 2008. The trade was contingent on Hall agreeing to a new contract and he did in the form of a seven-year pact worth $70 million with $24.5 million guaranteed.

Hall didn’t mesh with the Raiders defense at all and was released after just eight games. He signed on for the remainder of the year with Washington where he picked off Tony Romo in his first game.

As an unrestricted free agent, Hall once again signed a major deal, this time electing to stay in Washington where he’s been ever since. That deal once again included $23 million guaranteed with a maximum value of $55 million.

DeAngelo has dealt with significant injuries in the last few seasons, but his overall production in the NFL is undeniable.

Over 13 seasons, he’s played in 166 games and recorded 625 tackles. Hall has intercepted 43 passes and returned five for touchdowns. He’s forced 11 fumbles and recovered 15, all while returning five for touchdowns.

In a long history of excellent defensive backs, DeAngelo Hall’s incandescent talent shines the brightest. He was a great player for Tech and among the most successful pro players the program has ever produced.