Welcome back to yet another installment in our 2020 Countdown to Kickoff series! As of this fine August Sunday, there are 27 days remaining until the Oklahoma Sooners are currently scheduled to make their long-awaited return to Owen Field. Speaking of which, I want to use this opportunity to highlight one of the team’s true veteran leaders entering his fourth season at OU. I’m talking about redshirt junior H-back Jeremiah Hall!
Standing at 6’2, 243 pounds, Jeremiah Hall fits the mold for what Lincoln Riley has looked for in a starting H-back. Still, with all the offensive weapons OU had going into 2019, not many would have guessed that Hall would have been the Sooner to score Oklahoma’s first touchdown of the season. As the story goes, he was on the receiving end of this 14-yard Jalen Hurts TD pass, putting points on the board for the first time in his collegiate career.
Coming out of Zebulon B. Vance High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, Hall was recruited by former OU running backs coach Jay Boulware and Riley himself. Judging from his film, it was obvious he could develop into the kind of player that’s helped make Oklahoma’s offense as dynamic as it’s been over the last five years. The Sooners’ ever-versatile H-back position is tasked with several responsibilities on the field, and is usually good for exploiting an opponent’s defensive weaknesses via built-in mismatches.
After enrolling early in 2017, Hall redshirted behind the great Dimitri Flowers. Now let’s fast-forward to 2019, when he earned his place as Oklahoma’s primary starting H, and became a significant component to the new-look offense. While not as high-flying as the Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray-led teams, Hall still managed to capitalize on his opportunities in a run-heavy system. In doing so, he made a few highlight plays in some critical moments. For example, check out his dazzling 23-yard pickup on 4th and 11 against Texas Tech.
Hall has also shown that he’s not just a dump-off option, either. He knows how to work his way down the field, and whenever his QB is scrambling, he knows how to make himself available. The longest scoring reception of his career was this 20-yarder against West Virginia, when he made his way through the scrum at the line of scrimmage and kept moving until Hurts could find him running wide open in the end zone.
In two seasons, Hall has hauled in 18 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns, with the bulk of that production coming last fall. Between he and Brayden Willis (you can read more about him here), there is a good amount of healthy competition at the position, and for now, Hall’s performance and experience possibly gives him a slight edge. No matter who gets the starting nod in 2020, Oklahoma will undoubtedly need the both of them as well as others if the offense is to run at an optimal level.
If his athletic prowess wasn’t enough, Jeremiah Hall, a two-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree (‘18 & ‘19), was accepted into the OU Graduate School of Business in Oklahoma City in pursuit of his MBA this past July. Whether he’s on the football field or in the classroom, the future is shining especially bright for this gifted Sooner.
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