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St. Joe’s Hall finds best fit with John Carroll football program

Overcome with emotion, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute senior Dylan Hall couldn’t keep the smile off his face as his years of hard work finally came to fruition when he officially committed last Tuesday to John Carroll University in Ohio to play college football.

The Marauders’ defensive end had been looking at a few schools, including University at Buffalo locally, for months. He made multiple visits just looking for the right fit and a place where he could see himself being for the next four years of his life.

In the end, although three-and-a-half hours from home, it was a sense of familiarity, and family, that drew him to John Carroll.

“I got the sense that I was going to another St. Joe’s, and I would feel like I was in a family there,” Hall said. “That’s really what it came down to, feeling like a part of a family.”

It didn’t matter to Hall that JCU is a Division III athletics school. He admitted that he came close to signing with Division I Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, but when he visited, he didn’t get the feeling of total comfort.

“Even though they were Division I, I didn’t get the feeling they wanted me for me,” he said. “I just wanted that feeling, and as soon as I kept going through the recruiting process with other schools, I realized that John Carroll was the place for me.

“The coaches were so close-knit, and actually wanted you for you and not just your talent. Just looking at how they ran their practices and how close they were really just stuck on me.”

Hall also said that the distance difference, three-and-half hours for JCU and six for Sacred Heart, played a bit into his decision due to his family wishes, mainly his mother.

“My mom at first wanted me to stay at home, but going to Ohio wasn’t that bad,” he said. “I have family members in Ohio so that was a better fit for me, and a perfect fit for my family.”

Hall said he had some help making his decision from former local players who decided to attend JCU. One of which was a former teammate at St. Joe’s in Connor Davin, who took Hall to a few spring practices while he was visiting the campus.

At the practices, Hall says, he could just tell how close of a team it really was and their commitment to one another.

“They showed me during practice that they just weren’t playing to play to win,” Hall said. “They wanted to play to get better and they wanted to become a true team as one.”

Now, Hall is just anxious to get to the campus in University Heights, Ohio and get to work.

“I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, but I’m anticipating a good competition against players that are up to my caliber,” he said.


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