Bowie State University junior quarterback Amir Hall came into training camp with a positive attitude, looking to be ready when his number was called a season ago. Going into the 2016-17 CIAA football campaign, Hall was in a tight position battle with Nyema Washington until he emerged as the starter. This season doesn’t feel any different, especially since he knows that he will be the guy going into the regular season.
Amir Hall hopes to lead the Bowie Bulldogs to a CIAA Championship. (Photo by Daniel Kucin)
“Last year I always prepared as a starter,” said Hall. “Coming into this year I have always felt that if you have prepared the right way you should be able to play at all times. I don’t feel that anything has changed, I just think that I have seen the field a lot better just working on my mistakes from last year.”
As a sophomore, Hall proved he was ready to lead the offense for the Bulldogs during a short period. He quickly picked up the offensive sets and earned the respect of his teammates with his strong arm and ability to read a variety of different defensive positions.
Hall led the Bulldogs to the CIAA Championship game, and despite falling to Winston-Salem State 43-33, Bowie State showed the nation that its squad is built for long term success under the helm of a young and talented signal caller. “I expected to have the year I had because of the protection from my offensive line,” said Hall. “I had the best group of receivers to make those plays for me. Coming into this year I don’t feel any pressure and I’ll be ready for week one, so I don’t feel any added pressure.”
Despite leading the conference in almost every statistical category imaginable, he also led the league in interceptions (15) which he said was a point of emphasis for him and the coaching staff to fix during the offseason. “I anticipate him to correct some of the mistakes that we made offensively last year,” said Bowie State University Head Coach Damon Wilson about Hall. “He has been getting better every day at spring practice and had a good winter workout. We are excited to have him back.
The former Riverdale Baptist School standout had a strong connection with former teammate Nyme Manns and found comfort in finding his six-foot-four receiver. Behind the arm of Hall, Manns led the league in receiving yardage (1,241), receptions (83) and yards per game (112.8).
However, Hall claimed that this year would be a little different with a bevy of experienced receivers in his arsenal who will step up in the absence of their big time deep threat. “I’ve loved this offense since my freshman year, so I feel comfortable,” said Hall. “I like all of my receivers; I like how I can spread the ball this year. A lot of teams keyed in on Nyme last year, so I feel as though my security blanket should be all of my receivers, so all of them have the potential to make plays.”
Nevertheless, Hall will have another offensive threat that he relied on last season with the support of junior running back Robert Chesson. Chesson averaged more than 100 yards per game, eclipsed 1,000 yards on the ground, and found the end zone 11 times among other yard gains. With Chesson returning, Hall has the confidence of knowing that he will have a versatile weapon that he can count on every game.
“We are connecting on our passing plays, so Robert has gotten a lot more comfortable running the offense as far as running routes,” said Hall. “I feel like Rob has improved his game from last year and he can do a lot more for us.”
The Bowie, Md.-native is primed and ready to exact revenge and take his squad to the CIAA Football Championship again, but he knows for that to happen, he needs to take it one game at a time. Bowie State will take on Seton Hill University on September 2 in Greensburg, Pa. with the hopes of bringing home championship hardware when it is all said and done.
“That experience has helped us, but last year was last year and this year is a brand new ball club,” said Wilson about playing in the championship game a season ago. “We have to go into this year focused, so our game plan is to stay focused on Seton Hill which is the first game of the season for us.”