Former St. Aug DE looking for second chance with Panthers
Posted July 29, 2014
Updated July 30, 2014
Spartanburg, S.C. — The journey back to the NFL was most definitely the road less traveled for former St. Augustine’s defensive end Alex Hall. In fact, it required the use of a passport.
"It's been a long journey, but I think it's going to pay off in the long run,” Hall said. “I learned a lot in Canada."
After stints with the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants, the CIAA’s only draft pick in 2008 found himself out of the NFL altogether by 2010.
Not ready to give up, Hall pursued his pro dream north of the border in the Canadian Football League
"It was difficult at first because it was on a smaller scale," Hall said.
After busting through the line of that initial stigma, the Glenarden, Md., native who was once a 7th round selection by Cleveland, wreaked all kinds of havoc in the CFL.
A sack per game average with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders scored him a second shot in the states with the Carolina Panthers.
"Proving to myself, that I deserve to be back, then from there proving to the coaches and the staff why they signed me and why they brought me here,” Hall said of his drive to return to the NFL. “Now is the time to put all those things together and show everyone what I can do."
The odds may be stacked against him as he is one of eight defensive ends in Panthers camp, but he wouldn't want it any other way. It's always been his motif.
"There was a lot of people who thought I couldn't make it,” Hall said. “Coming out from, not even a small school, but an HBCU school that was just starting football again. People didn't think it I would make it at all, but it is what it is, I've always started from the bottom."
The next goal for Hall is to still be suiting up on Aug. 31 -- one day after the cut-down-deadline to a 53-man active roster.