|Alabama's Hall catching a lot of passes, but very little praise|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 22 October 2007 09:25|
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -DJ Hall was coming off one of the best games of his Alabama career against Mississippi, and Tennessee's defensive backs were promising he wouldn't have a similar performance against them.|
They were right. He was better.
``They kind of said, 'We're going to beat you all day and you won't have a catch,''' Hall said. Then he adds, ``After the sixth one, they quieted down a bit.''
Few opposing defenses have managed to contain No. 22 Alabama's offensive star, who is quietly having a record-setting season, leading the Southeastern Conference with 764 yards receiving.
Already Alabama's all-time leading receiver, he had 185 yards on a school-record 13 catches in Saturday's 41-17 victory over the Volunteers.
Even though he's the Crimson Tide's go-to receiver and not exactly a well-kept secret, Hall has 24 catches for 325 yards in the past two games.
No other Alabama player in a fairly deep receiving corps has that many yards all season.
The Tide often lines Hall up in the slot, leaving defensive backs to defend him one-on-one.
``We move him around so that they can't actually put a guy on him and cover him,'' coach Nick Saban said. ``In a lot of our spread formations, he's our inside receiver and usually you're not getting the best guy to cover him there.
``DJ's having a fantastic year for us.''
Hall and quarterback John Parker Wilson have formed a formidable connection, especially the past two weeks. Wilson has thrown for 628 yards in those games, and more than half of them have come through Hall.
That is easy for the quarterback to explain.
``He gets open,'' Wilson said. ``I just kept feeding him the ball.''
Hall credits the playcalling of Major Applewhite, the 29-year-old former Texas quarterback who is the youngest offensive coordinator in major college football.
``A lot of guys want to have the opportunity that I had to be in this position,'' Applewhite said. ``Even with changing coaches, people thought we wouldn't be as explosive offensively as we are now.
``We proved them wrong.''
Even after the last two weeks, Hall has others he'd like to prove wrong. Despite an Alabama-record 1,014 passing yards last season, he didn't get a vote for preseason All-SEC, overshadowed by more prominent names like LSU's Early Doucet and Vanderbilt's Earl Bennett.
In 2006, Hall didn't get any votes for all-conference then either.
Praise from his coaches, teammates and television commentators, he said, hasn't translated into recognition.
``I go back and watch replays and they say all good things about me,'' he said. ``Then when the preseason stuff comes out, All-America and everything, I'm not involved. I don't know what it is.''
But he's hoping he's not done yet adding to his Alabama receiving records. After breaking Ozzie Newsome's mark for career yards against Arkansas, Hall (172 receptions, 2,640 yards) is hoping he's not done yet.
``It's a blessing,'' Hall said. ``I don't even know how many other records are out there. I guess I'm going to go try to get them all.''
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