February 3, 2004

Olu Hall Selects UVa, Teammates Make Commitments

Robinson All-Journal defensive lineman Olu Hall said Monday he has verbally accepted a scholarship offer from Virginia.
Hall, All-Journal offensive lineman Bryce Miller and quarterback Andy Hartigan announced their collegiate decisions in an afternoon press conference in Robinson's Russell Theatre. Miller chose James Madison while Hartigan picked Georgetown. Robinson All-Journal defensive back Chip Vaughn verbally committed to Wake Forest in September. The players cannot officially sign a National Letter of Intent until Wednesday.
``It's a good school, a good team down there and I really like the academic part of it," said Hall, who chose the Cavaliers over offers from Ohio State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and Purdue. ``It was the right place for me."
Hall, a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder who will play outside linebacker at Virginia, is the third area recruit to commit to the Cavaliers, joining All-Journal linemen Clint Sintim (Gar-Field) and Zak Stair (Osbourn Park). Hall was a key member of a Robinson defense that posted five shutouts, finishing with 93 tackles and 11 sacks for the region runner-up Rams (11-1) and was selected first-team All-State by the Associated Press.
Miller, a 6-0, 240-pound center, was a first-team All-Patriot District and All-Northern Region pick, helping a revamped Rams offensive line lead a 3,428-yard rushing attack. Hartigan completed 74 of 135 pass attempts for 1,168 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also scored five rushing touchdowns.
  • Four other area players have announced their decisions, including Yorktown All-Journal linebacker John Crone, who verbally accepted a scholarship offer from Richmond. Crone led the Patriots (10-2) in tackles (82) and was the National District Defensive Player of the Year as Yorktown won the National District and advanced to the Northern Region Division 5 final. Crone was also a first-team All-Northern Region choice at running back, where he rushed for 1,460 yards and 20 touchdowns.
    ``John is the best player I've ever coached here," said Yorktown coach Bruce Hanson. ``You won't find a player much better than him."
    South Lakes senior linebacker Dan Smith, a second-team All-Journal pick, has committed to Marist, according to South Lakes coach Joe Trabucco. Smith, who recorded more than 100 tackles for the Seahawks (6-4), was All-Region at linebacker and the Co-Liberty District Defensive Player of the Year with W.T. Woodson linebacker Matt Clark. Smith was also a starter for South Lakes as a junior, helping the Seahawks to a Northern Region Division 5 championship and an appearance in the state semifinals.
    West Springfield seniors Derrick and Desmond Braziel have verbally committed to Findlay, a Division II school in Ohio, according to West Springfield coach Bill Renner. Desmond Braziel, a 2003 All-Journal pick at defensive back, led the Spartans (10-6) in tackles (82), intercepted two passes and returned a punt for a touchdown. Derrick Braziel, West Springfield's leading rusher the past two seasons, was an All-Journal running back in 2002.

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