Reporting for duty

John Murphy
Yahoo! Sports

In late March, 150 NFL scouts and coaches descended on the University of Texas to watch quarterback Vince Young and defensive back Michael Huff work out at the school's annual pro day.

A former U.S. Marine turned fullback was the Longhorn who had several area scouts talking.

Ahmard Hall impressed the gathering of team representatives with an all-around showing that included a 40-yard-dash time between 4.48 and 4.55 seconds, a 10-foot broad jump and 24 repetitions of 225 pounds. The 5-foot-11, 232-pound back also caught the ball better than expected during his positional drills.

"It was great," said Hall's agent, Vince Taylor. "[We] had a group of six to seven teams calling right up to the draft. Even three to four teams called the week before."

There was one problem, though. Hall, who had served a four-year tour in the Marines and twice landed on foreign soil to fight for his country, was not eligible for last April's NFL draft. Yes, he had graduated high school in 2001, but he technically had an extra year of college eligibility left. He had to submit his paperwork to the NFL office by mid-January in order to be available to teams.

"No one ever asked about this, so we figured he was eligible based on the five-year rule," Taylor said. "But once they said he was ineligible, the [July 13] supplemental draft became his next best option."

Taylor has been fielding calls from various teams interested in attending Hall's personal workout next Thursday in Austin, Texas. According to Taylor, teams want to see if Hall's conditioning has fallen off and maybe to have him do some positional drills. To avoid risking injury, Hall won't be running the 40 again.

Hall was a standout running back at Angelton (Texas) High School and shared the backfield with former Texas standout and current San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer. After spending four years away from the game, Hall found his way back onto the field for the Longhorns in 2004, finishing with 10 special teams tackles. Last year, he won a starting job at fullback and earned Big 12 Sportsman of the Year honors while helping Texas win the national championship.

At 26, Hall is a little older than the normal college prospect, but he also brings the type of leadership and maturity that you would expect from a former serviceman. He has an excellent size/speed ratio, but he predominantly has been used as a lead blocker and special teams ace. In his appearance at the Hula Bowl, Hall recorded a pair of special teams tackles.

Taylor expects at least 10 teams to appear at this week's workout because many of the same teams speculated that Hall could have been drafted between the fifth and seventh rounds in April. He still has two years of active duty remaining, but people close to the situation say the service time would not interfere with his dreams of playing in the NFL.


  • The league office has determined that former Delaware wide receiver David Boler will be a free agent. A transfer from USC, Boler suffered a knee injury during seven-on-seven drills last July, but he has been running in the 4.5-second range in the 40 once again while training in Delaware. Boler has good size (6-2, 205) and caught 152 passes for 2,108 yards and 15 touchdowns during his three-year run at the Division I-AA program. His agent, Mike Boyer, plans to set up a private workout for interested teams in the next few weeks.

  • Former Hutchinson CC (Kan.) linebacker David Dixon will hold his pro day at Beaumont (Texas) Central High on Monday, June 26.

  • Former Iowa State defensive end/linebacker Jason Berryman held his pro day at the school's campus last Tuesday in Ames, Iowa. He ran between 4.72 and 4.78 seconds in the 40 and also registered times of 4.48 in the short shuttle and 7.38 in the three-cone drills. Berryman also leaped 32 inches in the vertical jump and 9-11 in the broad jump and did 17 reps at 225 pounds. The 6-1, 235-pound Berryman did positional drills as a defensive end and outside linebacker, but most teams paid close attention to his footwork and backpedal during the linebacker drills. A number of teams were in attendance, including Green Bay Packers director of college scouting John Dorsey, who conducted the workout.

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