‘Offensive MVP’ runs with dignity
Comet running back leads BVC with 16 touchdowns
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 14:11
The mindset of any running back is to evade defenders and score a touchdown.
Rashad Hall fits the mold of an ideal running back, one with that knack for finding the end zone.
The sophomore has rushed for a Bay Valley Conference high of 16 touchdowns and 1,299 yards in 10 games.
In the BVC championship-clinching game Saturday against Los Medanos College, Hall ran for 211 yards and scored two touchdowns, helping Contra Costa College win 33-14.
The team will now advance to the Living Breath Foundation Bowl Saturday at Monterey Peninsula College at 1 p.m.
“(This season) has been going steady,” Hall said. “I have no injuries and I’m ready to go (each game).”
Despite starting the season off slowly, rushing for only 360 yards and scoring four touchdowns in the Comets’ five non-conference games, Hall has since played an important role for CCC against BVC opponents.
In five BVC games Hall has rushed for 939 yards and 12 touchdowns, propelling the team to a perfect 5-0 conference record.
“He is our offensive MVP. Nobody has played a better conference (season) than him,” Comet coach Alonzo Carter said. “He leads the conference in rushing touchdowns and his whole attitude has made a difference to the team’s success.”
No Comet running back has rushed for more yards or scored as many touchdowns as Hall since former running back Lionel Arnold rushed for 1,251 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2001.
Standing at 6-foot-1-inches and weighing 205 pounds, Hall uses his lanky size and sprinter speed to elude defenders.
“Rashad goes into the category as one of the better backs I have blocked for,” Comet offensive lineman Myles Grace said. “He goes 100 percent all of the time.”
“Rashad has the potential to make a big play (at any point of the game),” Carter said. “He has great vision as he makes great reads and doesn’t run into traffic.”
Playing running back is nothing new for the 20-year-old Virginia native as he has played the position since the age of 7.
Growing up in Lynchburg, which he described as a rough neighborhood in Virginia, Hall’s mother Pierra said she has kept her son involved with sports to keep him away from trouble.
“Rashad was very active as a child and was involved with sports a lot,” she said. “(Sports) kept him focused and out of the streets.”
Hall, who also grew up without a prominent father figure in his life, said he used his father’s absence as motivation when participating in athletics.
“I’m blessed with the people that are in my life,” Hall said. “I use (my dad’s absence) as motivation to just stay focused.”
While Hall also played basketball, ran track and wrestled for Oak Ridge Military Academy High School in North Carolina. But football has been his favorite sport.
Comet defensive coordinator Otis Yelverton, who was Hall’s high school football coach, said Hall is the prime example of what a coach wants out of a player.
“He is a good kid to have in your program,” Yelverton said. “He will do everything you ask him to do and his work ethic is (tops).”
Yelverton said Hall had much success playing under him at Oak Ridge and received a scholarship to play for the University of Colorado in 2011.
While Hall was likely to receive playing time for Colorado, Yelverton said his ACT test score was not high enough for him to qualify for entrance into the university.
“Rashad was a (high school) graduate with honors, however he gets anxious in testing environments, so he did not do well on his ACT,” Yelverton said. “(Colorado) told him that they wanted him to be stronger academically and to attend a community college.”
So Yelverton convinced Hall to come to California with him as he took over defensive coordinator duties for CCC.
In his first season playing for the Comets in 2011, Hall split rushing duties with former Comet James Hines, however, he was able to lead the team with 690 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Carter said that during the off season, in preparation for 2012, Hall showed interest of improving his play.
“Rashad took (the initiative) to get better in the off season,” Carter said. “Last season he just wanted to fit into the offense. This year he wanted to be great.”
Carter said he told Hall to watch film of hall of fame running back Eric Dickerson during the offseason so he could visualize his running style.
So far, Carter’s methods, and Hall’s work ethic, have paid off in 2012 as he has helped the Comets to a 7-3 overall record, the best CCC has seen since 2001.
Coaches and teammates gave Hall the nickname “Blue,” due to his quiet and shy personality.
“Rashad is pretty shy and keeps to himself a lot,” Comet tight end Christopher Rose said. “However he is a humble guy and works hard every day.”
Carter said that he can envision Hall playing for a Division I college after graduating from CCC and potentially reaching the NFL. The sky’s the limit for Hall.
“My goal is to transfer to a four-year school and get a degree in sports medicine,” Hall said. “If I am blessed to go to the NFL that would be great. If not I hope to use my degree to help others.”