What is the importance of a number? What does a number mean?
When you wear the same number as one of Miami’s all time greats, the pressure to perform is turned up ten times. Welcome to that added pressure, Gurvan Hall Jr. Hall chose the number 26 which the late great Sean Taylor wore at Miami from 2001-2003, and quite honestly the number should be retired in Coral Gables, but that is no fault of Gurvan. Hall came into Miami with all types of recruiting hype, and heading into 2020, he looks to be one of the stars on the Canes defense.
Miami is known for elite safety play over the years. Bennie Blades, Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Daryl WIlliams, Brandon Meriweather, CJ Richardson and many others have been enforcers and ballhawks for the Canes. Gurvan Hall has all the ability of former greats, but needs to put it all together as he enters his junior season.
Hall arrived via Palm Beach Lakes HS as a consensus four star recruit , the 14th ranked safety and 38th best recruit out of Florida via ESPN rankings. Hall was selected to the 2018 Under Armour All-American game after receiving accolades from the Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post. Miami was able to gain his commitment over schools like Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Florida St and others. At 6’0 190lbs, Hall arrived with the idea of playing early and often.
His true freshman season saw Hall play in 12 out of 13 games, but mostly on special teams. With Jaquan Johnson the star of the secondary that season, Hall was only able to garner 8 total tackles, and didn’t cause any turnovers, or recover any. Many looked at Hall as the next superstar in the secondary, and in his brief appearances Hall looked the part. He;s a kid with good range, and explosive hitting ability.
Hall would get his first start against Florida and respond with a very good effort. He put up 8 total tackles, including one for a loss. Unfortunately things didn’t go Miami’s way in a 24-20 loss.
The following week Miami took to the road again against UNC and Gurvan once again had a solid effort with six total tackles in another Miami loss. Miami would finish the season at 6-7, but one of the big highlights was a dominating win on the road over FSU. Hall recorded his 1st interception, had a pass defended and 5 total tackles. Miami played their best game defensively overall and Hall seemed to be finding a groove alongside Bubba Bolden. Unfortunately in that game his running mate was injured, so Hall had to go at it with Robert Knowles and Amari Carter by his side. The remainder of the season saw Gurvan come up with 14 total tackles, but he was unable to cause any further turnovers.
Miami expects a lot out of its safeties, and more is needed than 1 interception, 1 fumble recovered and 3 passes defended. Hall seemed to be a ½ step off in a lot of situations in 2019. In order to take the next step he will need to watch film of Jaquan Johnson and pattern his game after the former Miami great. The best thing about Hall is that all of the tools are there to be a great player, it is just a matter of doing it on the field.
Heading into 2020 Miami has some veterans in the secondary, Al Blades, DJ Ivey and Bubba Bolden should start alongside Hall. Miami also has some amazing young talent just itching to step in and play. This should make Gurvan Hall an even better player at safety, knowing that his job could be taken at anytime. The expectation is for Hall to have a monster junior season and to start to live up to the hype that he had coming out of high school. Hall should be an 80 tackle, 4 interception type player in 2020.
One of the worst traits of fans is to give up on kids after only one year starting. This seemed to be the case for many of the players in the secondary, but Hall is a player who we need to be happy that he will be the QB of the secondary for at least one more season.