Thursday, June 25, 2015


Lawson Hall of Narbonne High School in Harbor City took a visit to Reno, NV., and was so impressed with the University of Nevada campus, that he decided to commit to a scholarship offer from the Wolf Pack (photo contributed). 
Lawson Hall will soon be “Battle Born,” as the Narbonne High School (Harbor City) Class of 2016 linebacker announced his verbal commitment to the University of Nevada-Reno on June 25.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker – who held two other scholarship offers from Colorado State and Fresno State – said his unofficial visit to the UNR campus on June 23 helped cement his choice to leave California for the Battle Born state once his prep career wraps up. 

“The trip I took definitely sealed it for me,” Hall said. “As soon as I arrived at the campus, Coach (Ricky) Thomas greeted me with a schedule on how the visit was going to go. The campus was beautiful, along with the facilities and renovations they have in place there.”

“Battle Born” isn’t just a nickname describing the state of Nevada, but it’s also the popular hashtag used on Twitter to describe Wolf Pack football. Hall used the hashtag to confirm his commitment to his Twitter followers. 

Hall included that the UNR coaches were approachable and honest. Adding: “The coaches were straight up with me and answered every question I had before I could ask them.”

Another factor into his decision was the city of Reno.

“It’s ‘The biggest little city in the world.’ I love the atmosphere and environment surrounding the campus,” Hall said.

Hall (left) used the 7-on-7 tournament season to build on his coverage skills. He played on Gamechangers L.A. alongside another national recruit at linebacker, Alec Stevenson of Calabasas High (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna)

The incoming senior is being recruited to play the SAM nickel linebacker position, sometimes referred to as the “Star” linebacker in a defensive scheme. His responsibilities will be to play near the line of scrimmage, stuff the run and frequently drop into coverage while covering the tight end or an inside wide receiver.

Hall’s highlight film conveys the notion that he could be a future ball-hawking linebacker for the Wolf Pack’s 4-3 scheme. During the first minute of his reel, Hall displays an ability to focus on the quarterback's eyes, stay in his neutral spot, then position himself to grab the interception with both hands. Hall tied for second on the Gauchos with three picks during their 10-4 season.

He not only brings takeaway skills to the football field, but also gives the Gaucho defense a rush on the outside. Hall blitzes the edge and wrecks the running game. He’ll take on two blockers during a blitz but still slices through the opposition to blow up the run. He also plays mind games with blockers by coming up to the line and threatening to blast through a gap, but then switches to another gap and bulldozes his way into the opposing backfield; leaving blockers dazed, confused and chasing down Hall.

Hall - who's being recruited to play the SAM linebacker position - helps lead a nationally stacked defensive roster at Narbonne High (photo contributed).

He’s among eight national recruits filling up the Narbonne senior class. Some of his teammates include all-purpose running back Sean Riley who committed to Arizona, safety Jamal Hicks who’s getting courted by Mountain West schools, offensive tackle Alex Akingbulu who holds offers from Michigan, UCLA and Utah and wide receiver Devaughn Cooper, who holds six offers including pledges from Michigan and Washington.

“The level of talent we have at Narbonne is ridiculous,” Hall said. “We have lots of young dudes on our team who contribute to our success.”

Hall praises his head coach at NHS for helping him out the most during the recruiting period.

“Coach Manny Douglas helps a ton and even got us a recruiting coordinator (for our school),” Hall said. “He helps take the Narbonne brand further.”

Hall and his Gaucho teammates are 71 days away from their huge season opener against traditional state monster Long Beach Poly on Sept. 4. The Jackrabbits finished last season at 11-2 and has a history of winning section titles while pumping out NCAA Division I prospects in the process.

Hall is not only looking to bring a Southern Section title home to Narbonne in 2015-16, but says he’s not planning to de-commit from the Wolf Pack anytime soon.

“I’m 100% committed right now,” Hall said. “Recruiting can get crazy at times. Coaches always keep their options open just like us recruits, but Nevada offered everything I was looking for in a program. I’m really excited about what coach (Brian) Polian is doing.”

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