Q&A with Clemson safety Rashard Hall

by - Senior Writer -
Rashard Hall (31) tackles University of Miami running back Mike James (22) in Clemson's 40-37 overtime victory at Land Shark Stadium, Miami, Florida.. (Photos: Icon SMI)

What is your comfort level heading into the season?

I have a pretty good comfort level as long I keep doing what my coaches ask me to and keep playing for the will of my teammates, I think I’ll be alright.

If you have a less number of interceptions, it’s not indicative of you’re playing, right?

Prime example, Marcus Gilchrist, arguably the best player we have on our defense right now, he didn’t have any interceptions, but he had 107 tackles. So it’s all about contributing to your team. If Marcus gets 10 interceptions this year and I get 2 and contribute 100 tackles to my defense, then that’s a job well done and hopefully puts us in a position to be successful on defense.

What’s it like playing in the same secondary as Marcus and DeAndre and having those guys out there while you learn?

It’s definitely a blessing. I’m going to be a sophomore on the field and I’m still learning as I go- trying to be real studious in film and stuff like that, but having those guys actually teaching me on the field things that you can’t necessarily go through on the board has been helping me improve my game as a safety. And, I give a lot of thanks to those guys and my coaches.

What did you come out of the season saying I have to improve on?

Oh, number one thing, I just have to be an every down safety. I came in on every nickel package last year, and I ended up with 6 interceptions- that’s great. But, now I have to contribute to my team as an every down safety and make a lot of tackles to put us in a great position to help my teammates.

Is it a point of pride for you to be an every down safety for a defense as good as this?

Definitely. That’s definitely one thing that I need to prove to my teammates. I’ve been doing good so far, now I’m just trying to get even better with my tackling. Every day is a process. Like Coach Steele says, ‘Get two percent better each day’, and that’s what I’m trying to do. So, being an every down safety is real big to me and I think I’m going to help my teammates through that this year.

Crezdon Butler and Chris Chancellor were big losses. Tell me about Byron Maxwell and Marcus Gilchrist and how you think they will do this year.

We have a next man in mentality. Obviously, Marcus could start anywhere in the secondary, so no problem with him. Byron is just so hungry- I’ve never seen a guy so hungry coming off his junior to senior season. He’s real hungry and I don’t think there will be a drop off at all. Them boys just trying to be even better than the previous corners and that’s just the competitiveness in them.

What is one thing Coach Harbison is always preaching to you?

He just tells me to watch my eyes- to keep my eyes focused. As long as I keep my eyes on my responsibility and my technique, I’ll be fine. He’s trusting me to do my job so he just preaches eyes to me.

Do you feel like you are better against the pass, better against the run, or a combination of both?

I think it’s definitely a combination of both. I love to hit. I love to tackle for my teammates. And playing on the pass third down, we call that the, ‘money down’. I say it’s a little bit of both or definitely a lot of both.

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