ACC football media days

Hall turns corner at U.Va. as its QB

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Vic Hall could have complained. He could have flaunted his credentials, questioned his coaches and divided his teammates.

Any or all of which would have brought a stern lecture from one Frances Hall.

"Growing up my grandmother always taught me to stay humble in what you do," Hall said Sunday. "Anything can be taken from you in a moment."

Virginia's coaching staff took a part of Hall's football soul in 2005 when they moved him from quarterback, the position he played like few others as a high school All-American, to cornerback.

Four years later, he's back, the Cavaliers' best hope of ending an offensive malaise that threatens head coach Al Groh's job.

OK, Hall faces training-camp competition from Marc Verica and Jameel Sewell, Virginia's starters in 2008 and '07, respectively. But clearly, he's the favorite to orchestrate new coordinator Gregg Brandon's spread attack.

Why else would Hall be the dominant image on the cover of the Cavaliers' media guide? Why else would Groh have brought Hall to Greensboro for the ACC's preseason news conferences?

As a goodwill gesture to his BFFs in the press corps? As a ruse to confuse opponents?

No, he brought Hall because this 5-foot-9 senior is going to play quarterback. A bunch.

Desperate for a flicker of hope against Virginia Tech, Groh first used Hall at quarterback in last year's season finale. Hall rushed for 109 yards, with touchdown jaunts of 40 and 16, in a 17-14 defeat.

Not bad for a two-year starter at corner.

"He's a real good athlete, and he kind of brought that dual threat, (even though) he only threw (once)," Tech safety Kam Chancellor said. "Just his running brought a lot to their team."

Hall moved full time to offense during spring drills and began reviving the right arm that passed for a state-record 8,371 yards and 104 touchdowns at Gretna High. Add his rushing totals of 5,039 yards and 66 touchdowns, numbers that would make a tailback jealous, and you understand why Virginia recruited him as a quarterback, lack of prototype size notwithstanding.

But injuries at cornerback midway through Hall's redshirt season prompted his shift to defense, a change Hall not only accepted but also embraced.

"I dreamed about playing quarterback," he said. "It was just something I kept to myself. … I don't have a big ego or anything like that. I'm a team guy. … I put the team ahead of me."

But during the next three seasons, wasn't he occasionally tempted to march into Groh's office and demand change? Didn't he think about questioning Groh's judgment privately to teammates?

"That's my coach," Hall said. "I'm going to stick behind him."

Given that selflessness, no wonder Groh is fond of saying, "In Vic we trust."

Hall's skills were evident on his first collegiate punt return, when he raced 67 yards against Duke in 2007. On his first carry against Virginia Tech last year he gained 14 yards, followed soon thereafter by the 40-yard touchdown run.

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