Skip to main content

Andy Staples: Viral Jordan Hall commentary on Florida spawns misplaced anger

Matt Connollyby:Matt Connolly07/01/23


Georgia freshman defensive lineman Jordan Hall created quite the stir earlier this week as video surfaced of him explaining why he chose the Bulldogs over Florida during the recruiting process.

Hall appeared on the Real Talk Georgia podcast and was asked about his recruitment and what led him to Georgia. The Jacksonville, Florida native didn’t hold back.

“Really Florida talked about a lot of nothing… Georgia talked about a lot of something,” Hall said. “They’re going to put people in the league. Florida ain’t put a d-lineman in the league since Taven Bryan. And he’s terrible. So hey, I’m going to Georgia. And that’s really what it was.”

Andy Staples of On3 saw the video and also saw the way Florida fans reacted to it. Florida fans were upset with Hall, in part because what he said was inaccurate. In reality, the Gators have had at least one defensive lineman drafted for 12 straight years, which is the longest streak in college football.

However, Staples believes that Florida fans have misplaced anger when it comes to Hall’s comments.

“Florida has not had a first-round defensive lineman, and I think that’s probably where [Jordan Hall] was going with this, since Taven Bryan in 2018. And no, Taven Bryan’s NFL career did not work out the way he hoped. … But, the bigger point, and I think this is what Jordan Hall was getting at, is Georgia’s on an incredible heater of putting defensive linemen very high in the draft,” Staples explained. “Four first-round defensive linemen in the last two drafts. You had Jalen Carter this year, you had Travon Walker, Jordan Davis and Quay Walker the year before. It’s a pretty incredible run, especially when you consider Jermaine Johnson, who was at Georgia, left to go to Florida State to show that he could be an every-down player, he was also a first-rounder in the 2022 draft. So that’s what he’s getting at there.”

Staples added that Florida fans should be upset that the Gators haven’t recruited more elite defensive linemen and had more first-round picks instead of being upset about Hall’s comments.

Even if what Hall said wasn’t exactly accurate, the Bulldogs have won back-to-back national titles and have produced plenty of first-round picks in the process.

“While it makes Florida people mad because they say it’s inaccurate, it should make them mad for a different reason. It should make them mad because what they need to do to be able to beat Georgia is make those kind of first-rounders on their defensive line. That’s what they need to be doing,” Staples said.

“That is the mandate for Billy Napier, the head coach, for Sean Spencer, the defensive line coach. And I think they are willing to take that challenge. I think they understand that’s why they’re at Florida and the previous staff is no longer at Florida. There was this magical thinking for a while at Florida, especially after the 2020 game, that you could somehow overcome a superior roster with superior Xs and Os. I think Kirby Smart and his team have put the lie to that a few times. So you understand that now, and that’s what Billy Napier is trying to do.”

As Staples pointed out, Florida beat Georgia in 2020, despite having less talent. However, the Bulldogs have won the past two games between the two teams by an average of 24.5 points.

In total, Georgia has won five of the past six meetings with the Gators. A disparity in talent on the defensive line is a part of the problem for Florida.

“Now if you look at Florida’s recruiting, especially recently, there’s a chance that they can get back into that zone. But it will be hard. You will have to overcome stuff like this, because Jordan Hall might not be entirely factually correct. But his bigger picture point is something everyone can understand, and something every recruit can understand,” Staples said. “So Florida, make more first-rounders on the d-line, and that person comes to you next time potentially. And oh, by the way, when you play Georgia in Jacksonville, you’d probably do better against them, too.”