Derik Hall, wrapping up Buena's Ben Sims in a game last year, was third on the team last season with 22 solo tackles while bouncing among three levels of defense.


Over the next eight days, we will feature our picks of Southern Arizona's top preseason high school football players.

Our list continues with Sahuaro's Derik Hall, a do-everything player on both sides of the ball for the Cougars.

Derik Hall

  • The rundown: Derik Hall, ATH, 6-1, 190, Sahuaro, junior
  • Who he is: A maturing athlete capable of breaking big plays on offense and delivering punishing hits on defense. As a sophomore, Hall stepped in and immediately made plays in both the run (188 yards) and pass game (16 catches). His real impact came defensively, though, where he bounced among three levels of defense and finished tied for third on the team with 22 solo tackles. One of Hall's weaknesses last season was his over-competitiveness, but the junior said things finally clicked for him after the 49-7 loss to Peoria Centennial in the first round of the playoffs, and he's "coachable now." Hall is the cousin of former Parade All-American and five-star recruit Adam Hall of Palo Verde, and the former Titans great helped train Derik over the summer.
  • Proof he's good: His versatility. Coach Scott McKee said Hall is a "five-tool player" with enough athleticism and talent to be the city's top recruit in 2015. Hall should again be featured in multiple positions throughout the season, playing as a hybrid back-receiver on offense. But, his favorite place to play is on defense because of the contact, and he said he feels more comfortable in the scheme this year. Hall visited San Diego State over the summer, which he said is his top school at the moment, and has seen interest from New Mexico, NAU and Pima.
  • He said it: "I like to hit; that's my favorite thing. I just like to hit. And I'm a team player, I don't care if I don't get the ball, I like blocking. I just like hitting, anywhere." - Hall