The good news keeps flowing, as Darrin Hall received an invite to the Senior Bowl this week. The Senior Bowl is widely considered the premier showcase for college football’s best senior NFL draft prospects, and the invite is a well-deserved accolade for the former four-star recruit from Youngstown, Ohio.
While Hall didn’t make much of a mark during his first two years at Pitt (just 100 attempts for 417 yards), he flashed some potential in 2017, rushing for 628 yards on 128 carries (4.9 avg). Darrin really flourished in 2018 behind coach Dave Borbley’s zone blocking scheme, where his decisive one-cut running style and above-average speed helped him break some big runs at key times during the season. Hall also displayed a nice bit of power, as you can see from his UVA game highlights. (Check out his second TD where he completely trucks the Safety James Conner-style to get into the endzone.)
Hall finished the 2018 season with 1,144 yards and 10 touchdowns on 153 attempts. That was good for seventh nationally in rushing yards per carry, at 7.48. That 7.48 YPC is also tops in the Pitt record books, as Hall broke Tony Dorsett’s YPC record of 6.6 set in 1975 (min 1000 yds rushing). His prolific production earned Hall third-team ACC honors and a spot in the East-West Shrine Game, where he led all rushers with 77 yards on 12 carries (6.4 avg.)
Hall currently projects as 34th (ish) best Running Back in the 2019 draft, which would put him into 7th round / Free Agent territory (Editor’s Note: I believe this evaluation is based on his junior year), but with a good Senior Bowl and a good combine he could certainly improve that. Even if he goes undrafted Hall is likely to get a legitimate shot to catch on with an NFL team, especially one that runs a zone scheme. Other successful free agent running backs of note include Philadelphia’s Cory Clement (you may remember his as former Pitt commit who followed Paul Chryst to Wisconsin) and Denver’s Philip Lindsay, a Colorado product who rushed for over 1000 yards this year (his rookie season).
If you want to watch Darrin Hall one last time before he tries to go pro, the Senior Bowl will be televised this Saturday (Jan 26th) on the NFL Network at 2:30 p.m.
Congratulations Darrin and Hail to Pitt!