Largo, April 11, 2019- This week, we get to know the Packers’ second biggest fella on their dominant defensive line, defensive tackle, Delton Hall. Here is a nice chunk of mature-mannered words and thoughts surrounding football and life from the rising senior seeking to make a massive imprint on and off the field.
- What are you looking forward to proving/accomplishing most this upcoming season after finishing as district champions at 7-4 and 4-1 in your district this past year and what are your best attributes right now?
“First, I’m aspiring to be a captain and show people I can lead; second is earning a scholarship from any school that’s willing to have me and third, help my team go farther in playoffs and chase the State Title ring. Fourth, I’m striving for Pinellas County Defensive Player of the Year and lastly, I’m looking to boost my stats this last year with more sacks, tackles- whatever my extra contributions may be. As far as my attributes go, I have very good hands, speed, my strength is improving a lot and my footwork. I played quarterback, running back, and point guard when I played basketball in little league.”
2. Talk to me a little bit about your background and family football background if any?
“I come from a 50-member family on both sides, so I have a big family and that comes with a lot of athletes. My cousins are Jayion (Largo’s 6’2” 210 pound upcoming senior 4-star linebacker, 2018 defense first-team per Tampa Bay Times and 7th ranked inside LB in the nation with top offers from Florida State, Miami Hurricanes, and Auburn University) and Dexter McCluster (Largo high and University of Mississippi alum, 7-year NFL veteran that started his career in 2010 with the Kansas City Chiefs as a running back and return specialist, now plays in Canadian Football League).
“My mom has her doctorates degree and my dad’s a chef. They motivate me to get the next level and they both bring me up when I’m down no matter what. I have a little brother Camoni and big brother Ozell Hall (Outside linebacker and class of 2017 Largo alum, now attends and plays for Blinn Community College in Texas. Side note: Carolina Panthers’ NFL QB, Cam Newton was also a ‘JUCO’ product from Blinn before his time spent at the University of Florida and Auburn U) as well. In my spare time, I like to play video games and work out, along with spending time with my family.”
“I can’t live without God, family, school, and football- wouldn’t amount to anything without them either. I was born and raised in Largo; I’ll never forget where I come from and to give back to my community, the same way they did for me. I want to be a very motivational person in this world and inspire others around me. I’m very thankful for all of my coaching staff; some have been around all sorts of professional atmospheres, so they know what it takes to prepare us for the next chapter.”
3.What is the best piece of advice you could pass down to younger up n’ coming defensive tackles?
“Come in with confidence, always stay low and keep your hips loose- no matter what position you play on D-line, that’s key to leverage along with footwork, of course. You also have to keep your hands up; just like boxing, you got to keep on the defense or you’ll get knocked down if you’re hands aren’t ready. If these four things aren’t on the same page, you’ll get beat every time.”
4. If you could play any other position what would it be?
“I would play middle linebacker because I could recognize the ball in coverages, fly sideline to sideline and make some more plays in the open field.”
5. Favorite memory/highlight from your time spent at Largo and the brotherhood of what it means to be a Packer?
“Freshman year JV is one of my favorite memories; we played against Dunedin High at home and were winning by 6 in the fourth quarter, so to seal the game, I asked coach to put me in on the punt return. My friend, Quavon Matthews brought the kick out, I waved him to come my way and I made an outstanding block to lead him into the end zone.”
“The brotherhood is close here, we’re all out for the same mission; we joke around and have a lot of fun together. Come game time though, they know it’s time to be serious and that’s what I love about them. I was a bit self-centered at Seminole, only thinking about ‘me, me’ really, because I struggled with finding myself there, but I’m glad to be back where I belong- I love this city and team.”
6. What were your thoughts when you saw Largo taking the time to remodel the school and everything around it?
“In 2015, I was in eighth grade and my older brother Ozell was there in the portables when they were building it and he told me it would be a beautiful new look, but I didn’t believe him. When I saw the blueprint I was shocked and excited’ it’s an amazing school and I love it. I made a mistake leaving, but I’m thankful for them welcoming me back and the renovation to our school.”
7. How are you approaching the offseason to take on the responsibilities of the increased production in your role as a senior this year?
“I’m working harder than past years, pushing myself to the limit and giving all I can give in my last year. I won’t make it to the next level if I let off- I realized how serious it was my sophomore year, so I’m training myself to the point where I’ll be ready for any situation.”
Largo was among the top defensive stat leaders in their class 6A district 9 standings in 2018; coming in close second in tackles with 779 total and 28 for a loss, first in sacks with 36 total and 282 yards lost and second again in interceptions with 11 total and 326 return yards. Delton certainly brought true value to those accolades, as the destructive defensive lineman, standing at a whopping 6’2” 275 pounds, accumulated 38 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 2 sacks, and 6 tackles for loss, as a starter in the first 5 games of 11 played this past junior debut.
8. How’s the recruitment process going?
“It’s going great now; I struggled at the beginning of high school with my grades, and transferred to Seminole my sophomore year, then came back for this season. I got a little heat for it, but I don’t want to be anywhere else, so I learned the hard way a little bit for that. Head Coach [Marcus] Paschal has been helping me out a lot with the process and setting me up for success, so I’m grateful for that. I’m also looking forward to competing in BCP’s Bull in the Ring camp pretty soon, too.”
9. How about any hidden talents?
“I can rap and sing a little, I can play some goalie in soccer, I’d say top 5 out of these guys on my team, and I could be a stylist with clothing and shoes.”
10. What do you think in your opinion as a player now, is the biggest difference between this generation of football and the old-style era of this sport, watching those players that came before you?
“I think the biggest difference is the style of play. These days, guys play several positions, unlike the players in the past. I think their versatility makes them more appealing to the college recruiters. I can appreciate that coaches recognize the many talents of the players and allow them to take a shot at playing other positions.”
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor