Top 50 Hokie Spotlight: DeAngelo Hall
Beamerball, as we Hokie fans remember it in our sepia-toned nostalgia, was Coach Frank Beamer’s game day strategy for scoring non-offensive touchdowns, mostly through his emphasis on special teams.
The long time strategy produced countless highlights and dumbfounded opponents; however, it lends itself to a very important follow-up question… Which former VT player best personified Beamerball?
Well, during the process of spotlighting DeAngelo Hall as one of the Top 50 Hokies, the answer to that question became self-evident.
From 2001-03, the most exciting moment in any game was whenever DeAngelo Hall touched the football.
That’s because Hall’s dynamic ability as a playmaker along with his lightning speed, and swagger unlocked Coach Beamer’s imagination to find any way possible to give DeAngelo the football, which is why one of the best defensive backs in school history also logged snaps on offense in addition to fielding punt returns.
The logic was simple, the more times DeAngelo touched the ball during a game, the more likely VT was going to score, as evidenced by the nine touchdowns Hall scored while returning punts, intercepting passes, recovering fumbles, catching and rushing the football, and single-handedly igniting a crowd of 66,000 crazed Hokie fans with moments like this…
During his time at Virginia Tech, DeAngelo Hall proved to be one of the most versatile players in program history, having logged 190 tackles, 8 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery on defense, along with catching 7 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown while taking a 21-yard handoff for another score on offense. As for special teams, Hall amassed 839 punt return yards on 56 punts, bringing 5 back for touchdowns, which still ranks him among the top in VT history, even though he only had the job for two full seasons.
With that much production and a 4.3 second 40-yard dash time to boot, it was no surprise that Hall opted to enter the 2004 NFL Draft, rather than return for his senior season, where he was the first Defensive Back selected with the #8 pick by the Atlanta Falcons, giving weight to Virginia Tech’s long-tenured claim as the original “DBU”.
In his 14 seasons playing professionally, DeAngelo still epitomized Beamerball as the only player in NFL history with at least 5 fumble return touchdowns and 5 interception return touchdowns, in addition to his 3 Pro Bowl selections, 43 INTs, a massive highlight reel, and de facto ownership of Jay Cutler.
After his retirement following the 2017 NFL season, Hall easily transitioned his on-field leadership, charisma, and veteran playing experience into network media, where he has worked on multiple NFL studio shows for NBC Sports Washington, Fox Sports 1, and the NFL Network, before finally choosing a position as a game day radio analyst for the Washington Football Team, for which he played 10 seasons during his professional career.
For all of his accomplishments, both on the field and his future off of it, DeAngelo Hall will forever go down as one of the greatest players in Virginia Tech history in addition to being one of the original ambassadors of Beamerball.