Archived Story

Former teammate says Hall belongs in Hall

Published 2:53pm Thursday, October 8, 2009

By AUSTIN PHILLIPS / City Editor

When the subject of great University of Alabama linebackers comes up, the names of players like Lee Roy Jordan, Derrick Thomas, Cornelius Bennett and DeMeco Ryans are often not far behind.

But if you ask Junior Davis of Junior Davis and Associates in Pelham who he thinks is the greatest linebacker in Crimson Tide history, there is no debate.

Mike Hall was and is the man.

Davis and Hall played together on Alabama’s infamous 1966 team that was denied a national championship, despite finishing with a perfect 11-0 record.

“He is one of the best linebackers to ever play at the University of Alabama,” Davis said of Hall. “This man needs to be in the (Alabama Sports) Hall of Fame.”

Hall’s name is on the ASHOF modern era nominee list, but he has yet to make it into the Hall of Fame.

And that’s a shame.

Not only did Hall help lead the Alabama defense to a perfect record in 1966, he also helped lead one of the nation’s best defenses to a 16-5-1 record over the next two seasons.

During the ‘66-68 seasons, the Tide averaged giving up 105 total points. In the two seasons after Hall, the Tide averaged giving up 266 total points.

Hall served as a captain for the ‘68 team, while also earning All-American honors.

He was a three-time All-SEC selection, and was selected as a member of the Alabama Team of the Decade for the ‘60s.

Individually, Hall is second in single-game tackles with 24 against Clemson in 1968.

His 120 tackles that year are good for fourth best in a single season.

Hall was a one-man wrecking crew in his final regular-season game in a Tide uniform against cross-state rival Auburn, as Alabama emerged with the 24-16 victory over the Tigers.

Hall was named the National Lineman of the Week following the Auburn game after finishing with 16 tackles and two interceptions on defense, and a touchdown reception on offense.

Beyond the field, Hall has been just as great of an asset.

Personally, my family got to know Hall many years ago, and we carry special memories of our time spent with him.

Recently, Hall’s ambition to get his teammates the missing ring they so long deserved is a testament to how he was and is a teammate to the end.

There are a lot of good people who are also deserving of being in the Hall of Fame, but none as deserving as the real Hall.

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