Andy Hall began his college career at Georgia Tech, but he transferred to Delaware in 2002. His goal, he said, was to win a national championship. In his final collegiate game, he did exactly that.
In December, Hall quarterbacked the Blue Hens to a 40-0 rout of Colgate in the NCAA Division 1-AA title game in Chattanooga, Tenn. Hall played with a separated left shoulder, but he still passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns.
“This is the stuff you dream about,” Hall said after the game. “Going out on top, I feel like Michael Jordan.”
Hall led Delaware to a 15-1 record in the 2003 season, earning the Maxwell Club’s Tri-State Player of the Year Award. He injured his shoulder in the Blue Hen’s 20-17 victory over Villanova, but he finished the game and scored the winning touchdown.
Hall continued to play through the pain as he led Delaware to four consecutive victories in the Division 1-AA playoffs. He finished the season with 234 completions (a school record) for 2,764 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also ran for 710 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Andy is the single toughest individual I’ve ever been around,” Delaware coach K.C. Keeler told Kevin Tresolini of the Wilmington News-Journal. “When you have a great player at quarterback who is so respected by all his teammates, it translates so well because that’s such an important leadership role. Those kids will die for him because they know he puts his body on the line every snap.”
Hall credit’s his toughness to growing up with an older brother, Scotty, who is now a professional rodeo rider. He learned how to deal with assorted bumps and bruises. Mostly, he ignores them.
“It all comes down to how much pain you can tolerate,” Hall said. “I’ve always had a higher tolerance than most people.”
Keeler sold Hall on Delaware by reciting the honor roll of quarterbacks who played for the Blue Hens, including Jeff Komlo, who played for the Detroit Lions, Scott Brunner, who played for the New York Giants and Rich Gannon, the two-time winner of the Bert Bell Award as pro football player of the year, who led Oakland to Super Bowl XXXVII.
Although he played only two seasons for the Blue Hens, Hall eclipsed many of the records set by those quarterbacks, including career marks for completion percentage (57.4) and highest average per game total offense (228.5 yards). His 85-yard touchdown run against Hofstra is the longest in school history by a quarterback.
“He’s the reason why Delaware is one of the top teams in the country,” said Jerry Kill, head coach at Southern Illinois, who lost to the Blue Hens 48-7 in the playoffs. “He makes them go. The more I see him, the better he gets.”