Blue Chip countdown: UM's Hall relishes fierce competition

David Goricki
The Detroit News

The Detroit News continues its countdown of the top 15 Blue Chip recruits for 2017 with JaRaymond Hall of Oak Park at No. 13.

JaRaymond Hall, OT, Oak Park

JaRaymond Hall is busy living his dream of being a University of Michigan football player, saying he plans on getting a quality education while helping the Wolverines win championships.

Hall, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive lineman, was on The Detroit News Division 1-2 First-Team All-State squad during his senior year at Oak Park. He graduated early so he could get a head start on the competition.

When asked who his top five teams were during the recruiting process, Hall, a four-star tackle, replied: “Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan and Michigan,” making sure there was no doubt on where he wanted to be.

Hall sits No. 13 in The News' list of Blue Chip recruits. He fell in love with Michigan the first time he took a trip to the Big Ten school, watching the 2015 spring game prior to his junior year at Oak Park.

“Meeting Coach Harbaugh was real cool; he had just got there and we were real cool,” Hall said. “We have a great relationship. He’s a real nice guy.

“I enrolled early because I wanted to have a head start in the classroom and also increase my chances of playing here.”

Hall helped Oak Park to a 7-4 season, including a Division 2 state playoff win over U-D Jesuit before a district final loss to eventual state champion Detroit King. The opener against Detroit Cass Tech was one of the highlights of his season, Hall said.

“The biggest game was against Cass because there was a lot of talent on the field,” said Hall of the game played at Wayne State University, where Oak Park lost to the eventual Division 1 state champs 45-27. “It gave us the opportunity to showcase our talent on a big platform. That was a big game.”

Hall watched the state’s top player, Cass Tech receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, up close and in person in the opener, hauling in a 58-yard TD reception to open up a 38-27 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter. Peoples-Jones had three receptions for 100 yards and two TDs and was Cass Tech’s MVP in the game.

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Peoples-Jones and Cass Tech defensive back Jaylen Kelly-Powell are now teammates of Hall’s at Michigan with all three enrolling early.

Hall said he felt Oak Park’s biggest win came against Clarkston, a 14-7 victory in Week No. 6.

“The win that I would hold on to the most is the Clarkston game,” said Hall, noting Clarkston had won the Division 1 state championship in 2014. “Clarkston’s a powerhouse school and all our former players ever talked about was Clarkston, Clarkston, Clarkston. We played them my junior year and lost to them really bad (36-8) so beating them will be something I’ll always remember.”

Hall was part of a mammoth offensive line at Oak Park that included four-star junior guard Marquan McCall, who has offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Tennessee, and freshman tackle Justin Rogers, who already has an offer from Kentucky.

Hall feels fortunate that Tim Drevno remains Michigan’s offensive coordinator. The News reported Drevno had interest in the head coaching position at Western Michigan that was left open with the departure of P.J. Fleck to Minnesota.

Drevno -- who was on Harbaugh’s staff when Stanford finished 12-1 and played in the Orange Bowl in 2010 and again on Harbaugh’s staff with San Francisco when the 49ers played in the Super Bowl four years ago -- never interviewed for the Western job.

“We clicked as soon as I met him -- just a fun guy, a real guy,” said Hall of Drevno. “My relationship with a coach is the most important thing. I like to be with coaches that I have a strong relationship with and love to play for, and that’s what I have here at Michigan.

“I’m here to bring back championships for the university and I want to be excellent on the football field and in the classroom."


No. 13: JaRaymond Hall, OL, Oak Park (Michigan)

No. 14: Scott Nelson, S, U-D Jesuit (Wisconsin)

No. 15: Rodney Hall, QB, Detroit Cass Tech (Northern Illinois)