MOBILE, Ala. — Sometimes, it’s better late than never.
That was the case for Pitt Panthers running back Darrin Hall, who now finds himself as a late addition to the Senior Bowl, less then a week removed from participating in the East-West Shrine Game. Hall, who was clearly gassed after hopping on a red-eye flight immediately after getting the call late Wednesday, didn’t even have time to grab his own Pitt helmet or shoulder pads, playing with generic equipment in Thursday’s practice.
“They didn’t even get me my shoulder pads!” Hall said following Thursday’s practice. “They called me last night. It’s a big opportunity. I couldn’t pass it up.”
Hall mentioned his equipment would arrive on Friday, ensuring he would be able to represent Pitt in Saturday’s contest. The Panthers have had great representation at the NFL level as of late, especially at the running back position. Names like LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis and James Conner currently headline a long list of former Panthers currently in the league.
Hall’s well aware of the reputation.
“It’d be a great honor,” he said. “Just to be in a title with those guys would be great. James is my big brother, and he’s always pushing me. I’m just gonna push myself and get what I deserve.”
Hall is fresh off a dominant performance in the East-West Shrine Bowl, totaling 77 yards with an average of 6.4 yards per carry. With a running back group that isn’t considered extremely deep here in Mobile, Hall likes his chances to show what he can do on the field this week despite being at a disadvantage being behind on learning the playbook.
“It’s not that hard, I’m a smart guy,” he said. “I had three offensive coordinators, so you gotta learn quick. I’m just trying to take it in as much as I can, as fast as I can.”
With the 2019 NFL Draft quickly approaching, Hall said he’s spoken with every NFL team to some extent or another. His draft position remains unclear, yet he continues to climb draft boards by the week. The path to the draft has gone through the Senior Bowl for many Pitt players, as the game has hosted a player from the program in the last four of five years before Hall was flown to Mobile.
“This is a great honor, I don’t think too many people can say they’ve played in two senior bowl games” said Hall with a sharp smile painted on his face. “This is where the money is made, and I’m just gonna make the most of it.”
Hall is on the South team, and will wear jersey number 27 in the Senior Bowl game, which will be played on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2:30 pm.