Hall signing, slimming as he prepares for NFL Draft
Marcus Hall will be remembered for two fingers -- one on each hand, raised high in the air as Hall exited the field last November after being ejected for his role in a fight between Ohio State and Michigan.
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive linemen Marcus Hall and Jack Mewhort work out in front of NFL scouts on pro day at The Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Greg Bartram / USA TODAY Sports
By Zac JacksonFOX Sports Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Marcus Hall played in 46 games in his Ohio State career, starting 31. He played on three pretty good teams, too.
He'll be remembered for two fingers -- one on each hand, raised high in the air as Hall exited the field last November after being ejected for his role in a fight between Ohio State and Michigan.
Hall's actions and subsequent gesture cost the Buckeyes right guard the Big Ten Championship Game the following week, the result of coach Urban Meyer's internal punishment. The gesture may have made him an unforgettable character in the long, layered Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.
It's made him a few bucks, too.
Now that Hall has exhausted his Ohio State eligibility, he's been autographing pictures of his Michigan Stadium exit.
"I just show up to the (autograph) signings like every other player," Hall said at Ohio State's formal pro day on Friday, "and that's what the fans want. I love the Buckeye fans and they love me."
Whether Hall likes it or not, that's his Ohio State legacy.
It's also made an interesting talking point with NFL scouts.
"I just tell them that I got caught up in the moment," Hall said. "I don't try to give them a sob story or anything. I just lost it. I just felt like my love for this university and The Game came out in the wrong way. I just responded below the line as Coach Meyer would say.
"I don't want to go back and try to point the finger like I wasn't wrong. I was definitely wrong for what I did. It is what it is and it's history."
Hall was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine last month in Indianapolis, but Friday's activities gave the eyes of the NFL -- at least five general managers and three head coaches were among the 50-plus NFL types in attendance -- a chance to see Hall and judge his athletic abilities against what they've seen on his game film.
They saw Hall at 6'5 and 313 pounds, up slightly from his playing weight last fall but down 20 pounds or more from what he was two seasons ago. He's a leaner, quicker player who said he now understands he can add more weight if an NFL team so desires -- the good kind.
"I feel like I'm in a lot better shape," Hall said. "A lot of people tell me that I improved from 2012 to 2013 with the new coaches. I feel like if I can make that much of an improvement with great coaches, there's no telling what will happen.
"You know how this (Ohio State) system is, that extra weight doesn't really mix. (Some scouts) said they feel like I can carry a lot more weight with my frame in the pros."
Hall's next step is to follow up on pro day by continuing to reduce his body fat -- "it's down to 21 percent," he said -- and get stronger. He hopes to be invited for formal visits or private workouts by NFL teams over the next six weeks and eventually to be drafted.
A signing bonus and a chance to compete for an NFL job would beat that autograph money.
"I've actually turned down a lot of things (to sign)," Hall said. "Like it or not, I feel like yeah, I do honestly feel (that's my part in the rivalry). I can't ignore it, because when I see the fans they make this big deal and I'm like, 'Nah man, it wasn't even supposed to be like that.' It happened, so I accept it.
"I feel like it's good and bad. It's publicity, but at the end of the day we all know how bad it was and it obviously hurt me. At this point, I'm just trying to stay positive and move forward."