The 90 Illini #41: Aidan Hall


Robert
Jul 25, 2022
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I believe that photo is from the Redbox Bowl. I don't think we've worn those uniforms since then (at least not in a stadium with red seats). And it really drives it home how different it will be this season without Ethan Tabel snapping to Blake Hayes to hold for James McCourt. Hayes was the punter for five full seasons, McCourt the kicker for three seasons, and Tabel the snapper for five. For our first punt of the 2022 season, it will be the first time since 2016 that someone besides Tabel and Hayes are snapping or punting.

(That last sentence originally read "for our first punt of the Wyoming game", but then I changed it to read "of the 2022 season" because I already have August Syndrome and WHAT IF WE NEVER HAVE TO PUNT AGAINST WYOMING??)

41. Aidan Hall

Longsnapper
Uniform number: 39
Year in school: Redshirt Sophomore (without the Covid waiver, 2 years to play 2; with the Covid waiver, technically 3 years to play 3)
Height: 6'-2" -- Weight: 205 lbs.
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, Illinois
High School: Benet Academy
Five best offers: n/a - arrived as a walkon
Tom Cruise rating: n/a - arrived as a walkon

2021 statistics: Did not appear in any games.

Background

That photo (Redbox Bowl) was Hall's freshman year. That's Hall (39) and Caleb Griffin (11) with Tabel, Hayes, and McCourt. And those two (Hall and Griffin) have been waiting a long time for their turn.

The original plan was for both to take over in 2021. And that was the same plan for punter Hugh Robertson. Tabel, McCourt, and Hayes would graduate after 2020 and Hall, Griffin, and Robertson would be the new "battery" in 2021. But then Covid came along and extended everyone's eligibility by a year, which meant that those three had to all wait an additional year. Hall arrived in 2019 hoping to take over in 2021 and keep the job until 2023. Now He hopes to take over in 2022 and keep the job until 2024.

2022 Outlook

There's no guarantee that Hall wins the job this fall, I guess. He's the heir apparent, but He's not the only longsnapper in camp. There's always one (and sometimes two) other 'snappers.

It's a position that turns over year after year, and I've been caught writing about backup longsnappers on The 90 Illini before only to see that they left the program in the summer (and a new walkon longsnapper came in), so I'll just say that Hall is likely to win the job but he'll have competition from {longsnapper 1} and possibly {longsnapper 2}. Most likely scenario: He's our longsnapper the next three seasons.

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