Recruiting: Westside’s Jordan Hall brings major attention to program

Westside football coach Randy Randall Jr. and defensive tackle Jordan Hall. (Justin Barney, News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jordan Hall knows that it doesn’t happen often around here.

Big time college football recruiters don’t typically frequent the campus of Westside High School and haven’t for quite some time.

Hall has changed that in a big, big way this year, and he’s embracing every step of the recruiting process and getting as many teammates involved in it as he can.

“The excitement’s always going to be there for me. I just love coming to the weight room working out. I love being around my guys,” Hall said. “When it comes to recruitment, adding that on to it, having coaches come in here, I feel like it amps up the intensity and competitive spirit with everyone else. Everyone wants to do better so everyone can get their name called by one of those coaches.”

Hall, a 6-4, 310-pound defensive lineman, is the biggest recruit at Westside in the last 15 years, and probably even before that, too. That’s why first-year head coach Randy Randall Jr., himself an alum of the program, knows he’s got something special in Hall.

It’s been a long, long time since Westside, which was renamed from Forrest in 2014, has had a recruit this visible in the program.

According to the On3 consensus rankings which averages the four major recruiting services, Hall comes in at No. 133 in the country. Locally, Hall is behind only Orange Park offensive tackle Roderick Kearney (Florida State, No. 115 overall) in the Class of 2023. In the standard On3 rankings, Hall comes in at the 46th-best player in the nation, slightly ahead of Kearney (64th).

For a program like Westside, that’s a significant achievement. Hall knows that he could have gone elsewhere for a higher profile at a more established football program. That wasn’t in the plans.

“My Pop’s really is, I’d say the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to that. He’s one of those type of dudes that wants you to grow in a place that most people don’t,” Hall said. “So, I found something at Westside, I thrived and became a better player. I could have went to Mandarin or First Coast, a school like that. But instead, I stayed here and just made a made a way for a school like Westside.”

Hall has been at Westside since his freshman season and improved in each. While Hall had a few more tackles in his sophomore season, he boosted his tackles for loss total (from 12 to 15) and sack numbers (from 3 to 5) in his junior season.

For Randall, who had worked under Rodney DuBose and replaced him this season, the spotlight on Hall is positive for the entire program. The focus he brings with colleges coming by will have a residual effect on other Westside players in the recruiting process.

More recruiting

RECRUITING ‘23 | RB Sam Singleton rising for Fleming Island

RECRUITING ‘23 | Big day as Howard, Denson, Kearney pick schools

RECRUITING ‘23 | Columbia duo Jaden Robinson, Amare Ferrell ready for big senior season

“I know we’re driving for, I know what my kids are driving for. I know what we’re trying to get,” Randall said. “Jordan is a great kid, but I know we have other great kids in our program that we’re really trying to push forward and shine some light on them also to get them where they want to go. My job is to try to get all of them in the college.”

Linebacker Brandon Hicks was the No. 150-rated player by Rivals in the Class of 2007, which serves as a good comp for where Hall is now.

Quarterback OJ Small was a blue-chip prospect in the Class of 2000 who switched to receiver in college. Both Hicks and Small went to the University of Florida.

“It’s been fun going through the motions and everything. Honestly, it’s a dream come true,” Hall said. “It’s a blessing. I never take it for granted. I work as hard as anybody else and I try to separate myself from the majority of people, not trying to get myself mixed into too much stuff. But honestly, it’s just fun overall.”

Top local recruits in the Class of 2023

The rankings are the On3 consensus rankings, a metric that combines grades from On3, ESPN, Rivals and 247 Sports.

No., Position, Player, High school, Ht., Wt., College

115. OL Roderick Kearney, Orange Park, 6-4, 290, Florida State

132. DL Jordan Hall, Westside, 6-4, 300, Uncommitted

163. RB Treyaun Webb, Trinity Christian, 6-0, 188, Uncommitted

196. CB Sharif Denson, Bartram Trail, 5-11, 170, Florida

240. RB Sam Singleton, Fleming Island, 5-11, 180, Uncommitted

247. LB Grayson Howard, Jackson, 6-3, 223, South Carolina

377. LB Jaden Robinson, Columbia, 6-1, 212, Uncommitted

479. S Kenton Kirkland, Raines, 6-1, 176, Uncommitted

535. QB Marcus Stokes, Nease, 6-2, 185, Penn State

567. S Amare Ferrell, Columbia, 6-2, 192, Indiana

598. RB Mike Mitchell, Middleburg, 6-0, 200, Utah

677. TE Connor Cox, Bolles, 6-5, 225, South Carolina

752. WR Darion Domineck, Fleming Island, 6-4, 185, Uncommitted

781. OL Jamal Meriweather, Brunswick, 6-6, 261, UCF

811. OL Brendan Black, Bolles, 6-2, 266, Iowa State

834. WR Jeremiah Shack, Mandarin, 6-3, 191, Liberty

852. RB Manny Covey, Bradford, 5-11, 175, Cincinnati

866. DB Jarvis Lee, Clay, 5-11, 165, Virginia

897. LB Abram Wright, Fleming Island, 6-2, 220, Rutgers

974. DL Ka’Shawn Thomas, Brunswick, 6-3, 280, Wake Forest

1,208. OL Kyland Armstrong, Oakleaf, 603, 285, Wake Forest

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.