CLEMSON — In a way, Kevin Steele sees a microcosm of Clemson’s season in junior safety Rashard Hall.
“If you say our season went really well, , had adversity and then we bounced back, Hall’s season kind of went that way for him at a different point and time than the wins and losses,” Clemson’s defensive coordinator said last week. “He started out really good and had some rough, rough times and bounced back out of it.”
Hall struggled with a knee injury that may or may not require surgery following Jan. 4’s Orange Bowl. Steele said he also had other injuries, although neither he nor Hall would specify them.
But he came on strong down the stretch, making 10, eight, 10 and eight tackles over the last four games. He’s Clemson’s leading tackler with 81.
“I feel great,” Hall said. “I have adjusted to the knee brace coming back against Auburn in week 3 and it’s really growing on me. I’m starting to play full speed and I’m pretty good now.”
Before the Wofford game Sept. 10, coach Dabo Swinney revealed that Hall was suffering from a “knee defect” and would miss the game, saying he might need potential season-ending surgery.
Hall missed only one game, and returned against Auburn, playing the rest of the season while starting 11 games. He claims to have “no idea” what the defect is, but said he’ll get an MRI following the Orange Bowl and “go from there.”
Many of his issues, he said, dealt with adjusting to the bulky knee brace.
“It’s a pretty big knee brace,” he said. “Usually skill guys don’t have to wear these.”
Steele said his problems were mind over matter issues.
“He was struggling with three things mentally and I think it messed with his mind,” Steele said. “He’s done a good job down the stretch being the guy he’s been in the past.”