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Player Highlight: Rannell Hall seeks to make an impact in a whole new way

Photo by Eric Evans | The Scrum Sports

Rannell Hall continues to hone his craft as he transitions from wide receiver to defensive back.

Plant City, FL — With the access that we get to the players, I’ve decided to do bi-weekly features on players that you might not know a ton about. While these players are very talented in their own right, they all don’t have the name recognition that you may be used to following the NFL. Today, I’m going to focus on defensive back Rannell Hall.

Hall was the first player in camp that caught my eye. It wasn’t his size. It wasn’t his speed – which he certainly has.

He was wearing an offensive jersey – but he was playing cornerback. At first, I thought I was just confused. I didn’t understand why a receiver that had 113 yards and two touchdowns in the 2013-2014 Fiesta Bowl would switch to corner.

A season to remember

Hall, now 27, played his college ball at the University of Central Florida where he played wide receiver for the Knights.

In the 2013-2014 season, the Knights offense featured three future NFL draft picks: Blake Bortles (first round/Jaguars), Breshad Perriman (first round/Ravens) and Storm Johnson (seventh round/Jaguars).

Hall, a junior that season, lead the Knights in receptions (57) and yards (886) while also adding five receiving touchdowns that season. It was Hall’s best season as a Knight.

UCF went 12-1 that season and played Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. As previously mentioned, Hall led the Knights in receiving with 113 yards and caught two touchdowns as UCF went on to defeat Baylor 52-42. Blake Bortles won the offensive MVP in the game and Hall’s current Vipers teammate, Terrance Plummer, won defensive MVP.

With the victory, UCF finished 10th the AP poll, the highest ranking in school history at the time.

The next chapter for Hall: XFL

After only one snap in the NFL between three different franchises, Hall has transitioned his game from wide receiver to defensive back. But, why?

Hall wasn’t forced to make the position switch – it was his idea.

“It’s something he wanted to do first hand from the first day,” head coach Marc Trestman said in regards to the position change for Hall. “He was really great about playing the receiver position. Never complained about it. Worked hard every day. Towards the end of camp we gave him a change to go over the other side and see his talent level.”

“It’s something I’ve had on my mind for a long time, a couple years now,” Hall said when I mentioned his position change. “I came in and coach Trestman gave me the opportunity and I’ve just been making the most of it at defensive back and special teams.”

Hall was one of four players that stayed after practice to get extra reps. He was lining up against receiver Seantavius Jones, who also stayed after practice was over. He ran a few routes, catching passes from Taylor Cornelius. And finally, he spent the last ten or so minutes on the jugs machine catching balls with Daniel Williams.

Oh and not to mention, Hall was putting in the extra work – on his birthday!

While no official depth chart has been released by Trestman, it will be interesting to see where Hall fits on the depth chart.

Up Next

Game week! After putting their roster together and completing training camp, the Vipers will kick off their inaugural season and travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Guardians Sunday, February 9th at 2 pm ET.

Also a reminder, for all Tamp Bay Viper updates follow me on twitter @EvansEric10. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for some behind the scenes interviews!

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