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Bulldogs Sports

Adam Hall

Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 by Grover Kerr

                                      Boise State's Adam Hall

Adam Hall started off the 2010-11 season as the top ranked 157lber in the nation.  He earned the ranking with a 3rd Place Finish at the NCAA Championships and a Pac 10 Championship last season.  Hall's senior campaign got off to a rocky start losing in the NWCA All-Star Meet to Arizona State's Bubba Jenkins 12-4.  He recently evened the score winning a 2-1 decision over Jenkins in the Las Vegas finals.  The pair could tangle again this weekend at the Reno Tournament of Champions, as well.  Here is what Adam said to D1CW about that potential matchup and more....

D1CW: Adam, you are fresh off of a title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, how do you feel about your performance in the tournament?

Adam Hall: Really good.  Especially coming off of the All-Star Meet.  Going into Las Vegas Coach Randall had us write down a list of individual goals, of course my main goal was to win, but I also wanted to focus on three points.  The first was to use a different game plan.  I needed to do a better job of hand fighting and getting to ties.  Second, I wanted to get into my best scoring holds and just to generally be more offensive.  Third, I thought I needed to do a better job of dictating the pace of the matches.  I wanted to be able to either slow down or pick up the pace of the match, depending on what was needed.  Overall, keeping the pace of the match is a hard thing to stick to. 

Again, to answer the question, yes I'm happy about how I did, but at the same time I really want to keep things in perspective.  It was just one weekend.  This year the Pac 10 is really going to be competitive, each team is getting better.  Next we have Reno, then a few weeks off, then National Duals, after that conference duals, so it's really a grind.  I'll get a chance to probably see Bubba (Jenkins) a few more times, plus some of the other top ranked 157's.  The potential to see Bubba so many times reminds me of how things were back when I wrestled in local youth tournaments.  You'd always end up in the finals with that same tough kid!!

D1CW: Speaking of Bubba, you defeated him in the finals of Las Vegas just a few weeks after he majored you.  What was different this time around?

AH: I think it was the momentum going into the finals and the overall importance of the event.  I felt good about the wins I had getting into the finals. You sort of have a difference experience in a tournament compared to the dual, in terms of weigh-in's and overall preparation.  In the All-Star match I just went out and tried to be way too offensive right off the bat.  This time I wanted to be a bit more defensive and create my offensive off of counters. 

D1CW: Over the Spring and Summer, did you have any areas of your game that you wanted to improve?

AH: This offseason was really great for me.  It was the first time I since I been in college that I was healthy for the Spring.  The previous seasons I either was hurt or recovering from some sort of injury.  Right after NCAA's I got a wild card to the World Team Trials which was a much bigger stage and gave me better competition.  After that I got an internship to the OTC for about a month.  That was great, I got to see so many great workout partners.  I think I just got better all-around from the experience.  I would describe myself as sort of a grinder who has a good gas tank, but one thing I wanted to improve was my explosiveness.  Wrestling so much freestyle helped me be more explosive.  There are a lot of reasons why freestyle and folkstyle may be different, but being explosive is important in both styles.  Prior to this summer I would say that I always tried to finish my moves in a technically sound manner.  However, sometimes even with good technique you can be countered.  Finshing explosively, I've learned, can be better than good technique.

D1CW: Heading into this season most of the pundits thought that Boise State would be on the short list of teams that could win an NCAA Title.  How has the attitude been around the BSU program?

AH: Oh, really good!  Lately we've had to deal with some guys getting injured and taking their lumps though.  Mentally we haven't had any changes though.  As a team we got to this point with hard work.  Now we are working to be a perennial power.  Just because we are ranked #2, #5 or #6 or whatever our ranking is, we can't sit back and be satisfied with it.  It seems hard to get to the top, but really the hardest thing to do is to stay on top. 

The coaches have done a great job getting a group of seasoned vets mixed in with talented freshman, all together, in a hard working environment.  These freshman we have are already looking to build off of the momentum we have going on and on.  There has been an attitude drilled into everyone that "Just because you are older doesn't mean you are competing.  And just because you are a freshman, don't think you are going to redshirt". You need to practice and think that you are going to be wrestling, let the coaches sort out the redshirting. We've seen this play out this year where we had one guy who was returning and had a good summer and looked to be our starter.  Then a true freshman comes out, competes hard and wins the starting spot.

D1CW: Talk a bit about the BSU coaching staff. When the term "Best Coach(es)" get thrown around, I think they may go unnoticed...

AH: I'm sure everyone has their own bias, but I think our coaches are overall the best in the country.  A lot of other places have like six coaches, in additon to their regular staff they have a "Strength Coach" "Club Coaches" and things like that.  We just have our three coaches that work their butts off.  They are a blue-collar group and I think that it reflects with the blue-collar guys we have on the team.  They work as hard for us as we do for them. 

D1CW: Let's go back a few years...Your weight class in your redshirt freshman season (149 in 2008).  Is that the toughest weight class that you've ever seen?  Aside from Cal-State Fullerton's Morgan Atkinson, everyone who beat you has won an NCAA Title....

AH: Oh, without a doubt.  At the time people tried to boost my spirits by telling me that, but I didn't want to listen to it then.  But I'll admit it now.  It was really helpful in the long run, it got me prepped for where I want to be now.  As a Freshman you got to see all of those All-American's and National Champions and even though I lost to them I realized that I am almost as good as those guys.  With more mat time and being more mat savvy I could be one of those guys.  Still I was disappointed, but finishing in the round of 12 that season and the next really gave me motivation to work harder.  I've worked all my life for a chance to win an NCAA Title. 

D1CW: Coming out of High School, why did you choose to attend Boise State?

AH: I had already known Coach Chris Owens.  I just took a look at him and I couldn't fathom how someone can do the things he does.  In addition to his coaching responsibilities with BSU,  he worked with me and the wrestlers on the Idaho National Team, the Club team in the summer, plus he has his wife and two kids.  I trusted that working with him helped make me into a guy that was in a position to be recruited by big time DI schools in the first place, so why can't he help me achieve my goal of being an NCAA Champion?

The decision to pick a college was the most mature decision that I have had to make.  I know that I did it the right way, I took my five visits and in the end it was really a hard decision to make.  What I asked myself was "Which coaches will help me achieve my goals on and off the wrestling mat instead of just trying to sell me on a program". 

When we recently had recruits in town I told them about how great of a place Boise is to live.  If you love the outdoors, this is the place for you.  The Boise River basically runs right through campus, there is all the hunting and fishing, and fly-fishing that you could ask for.  Two or three guys on the team each shot a Bull Elk this year. 

D1CW: When and why did you begin wrestling?

AH: My Dad had wrestled a little bit in Junior College and my Mom was from East LA and knew nothing about the sport, but she thought it would be good for her hyper little kid.  I wasn't allowed to start until I was five, but before that I would pace around the wrestling room just waiting to go.  My brother had wrestled, but he was sort of did it just to do it.  I'm very thankful for my family and my coaches who took me all over the place and gave me opportunities to wrestle.  Once I got started, I just knew it was for me.

D1CW: Good Stuff Adam! Thanks!

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