No scholarship, no football: running back quits


KJ Hall announced Aug. 29 via Instagram that he is leaving BYU football for reasons unrelated to physical health.

“You’re never ready to move on past something that you love and have committed so much of your life to. But, I don’t want anyone to be confused, I have chosen to leave the game at this point for reasons unrelated to my physical health,” Hall wrote.

Hall played for Maple Mountain High School before playing for the Cougars. Hall rushed 390 yards in his two seasons with BYU, had 65 carries and finished with three touchdowns.

The former BYU running back decided to hang up his cleats after three seasons of play at BYU. He still had another year of eligibility but chose to pursue other avenues in his life.

Hall is responsible for the longest run of the 2017 season, although he faced injuries during the season. Against San Jose State, Hall had a 75-yard run that ignited the crowd and proved to be one of the most electrifying plays in the season.

Hall did not leave the program due to BYU. He said he loves the school and loves the atmosphere on campus. Hall said he chose BYU due to the positive influence it brings its student-athletes.

“BYU provided me the opportunity to do something I love to do at the highest level, and I knew the people who would be involved were very high-standard individuals who would only push me to be a better person and challenge myself daily. It truly is the best university on the planet,” Hall said.

The team and family were also bright spots in Hall’s BYU experience.

Hall played with his brother Jaren on the team. Jaren recently returned from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a quarterback on the team. BYU football seems to run in the family as Hall’s dad also played at BYU in 1992.

Hall’s decision to leave the football team boiled down to time and not having an athletic scholarship. He explained that it is very difficult to succeed in the collegiate game without a scholarship.

“There was no way for me to take care of my family as I should, both financially and spending the time they deserve with them, excel at school, and play the game how I know it should be played and at the level I wanted to play at,” Hall said.

Walk-on and non-scholarship athletes are expected to put forth the same amount of effort and time as other players without receiving the same benefits of a scholarship.

Although playing college football will not be the main focus in Hall’s life, he said he is looking forward to continuing his schooling and succeeding academically.

“I am planning on finally finding an area of employment — most likely in the medical field — that I want to go into and begin to focus more on my education,” Hall said.

Hall said his family is a huge part of his life, and he said wants to give his due diligence to his family.

“I’d like to help my little brother Kyson, who is an outstanding athlete, develop into the type of player that he wants to be. Also mostly spend lots of time with my wife and my son, Kingston,” Hall said.

While Hall is leaving, he wished his fellow teammates success in their upcoming season.

“I want to wish my brothers luck this week and year as they go to battle and right the ship!!” Hall wrote.

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