When Bryce Hall was carted off the field last October at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, it was clear almost immediately that his Virginia football career had ended.
Moreover, there had to be questions about the future of an All-ACC cornerback who had clearly attracted the interest of NFL scouts up to that point.
Hall accepted an invitation to the NFL Combine but was unable to work out after earlier undergoing surgery for a collection of injuries, including a broken fibula, torn deltoid ligaments and a dislocated ankle.
“The first time I really got a prognosis was a week before I went to the combine,” said Hall of an event that was held the last week of February. “The doctors and my [personal trainer] said I should be 100% by training camp.
“Within the past couple of weeks, I started to see a lot of progress in terms of me starting to do some running, some cutting, some jumping stuff. Lately, that’s been encouraging. For a while, I really had progressed slowly.”
Projections vary on where Hall will be drafted, but an NFL.com projection expects he will be a starter by the end of his second year.
“What I’ve been hearing from a lot of coaches is that they realize the status that I’m at,” Hall said. “They’ve been paying attention to my film.
“I’ve had meetings set up with coaches, so I feel like they’ve really got the chance to know me and what I’m about. I think, at the end of the day, the film speaks the most.”
“It would have been nice to show them something, but I’m still confident in what they know and what they’re looking for from me.”
Hall and former UVa teammate Bryce Perkins were made available to the media Tuesday via video conference.
Perkins had been training near his California home until this past weekend, when he returned to Charlottesville and subsequently headed to Roanoke for a promotional appearance.
He was not invited to the NFL Combine despite a stunning two-year run at UVa, where he set the school record for career total offense.
“Like Bryce [Hall] said, the film speaks for itself,” Perkins said Tuesday. “That’s the biggest selling point of anybody going into the draft.”
Perkins has an older brother, Paul, who played running back at UCLA and was a fifth-round draft pick of the New York Giants in 2016.
Bryce Perkins was UVa’s leading rusher this past season, and there has been talk periodically of him playing a position other than quarterback in the NFL. He rushed for over 1,000 yards, not counting sacks.
“In the right system, I’d definitely have to ask a few questions about the whole thing,” said Perkins. “Would this be a permanent change or would it be a Taysom-Hill type role.”
Hill, a former quarterback at Brigham Young when UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall was at the BYU helm, has been an all-purpose threat for the New Orleans Saints as a receiver, running back and backup quarterback.
“What would give me the best option of making the 53-man [roster]?” Perkins said. “I’m not opposed to it. I’d just like to know what they’re planning going into it and me not being blindsided.
“Not having played other positions, I’d be real raw. I can play quarterback in the NFL and be a premier player.”
He noted that dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens was the NFL’s most valuable player this past season.
“We’re always told that we’re too athletic,” Perkins continued. “There are a lot of guys who are athletic but who are better quarterbacks and just happen to be an athlete.”
Hall said he came away from the combine without a clear idea of where he would be drafted. Despite his injury, at least one service had him projected as going to Super Bowl champion Kansas City in the second round.
“When I was 11 months old, I moved to Kansas City, so I used to go to the Kansas City Chiefs games as a little kid,” said Hall, “but then I moved to Pennsylvania in the fourth grade.
“I kind of fell off as a Chiefs fan. If I could choose any NFL team I could play for, I would like to play for a team like the Ravens, the Steelers or Patriots.”