In 2003, Redskins great cornerback Brig Owens was on the selection committee for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to college's best defensive back, and remembers a talented candidate named DeAngelo Hall from Virginia Tech.
Hall ended up finishing second to Oklahoma's Derrick Strait for the Jim Thorpe Award, but he gained a fan that year in Owens – which explains his excitement upon hearing news that Hall had signed with the Redskins back in 2008.
Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall has had a sensational start to the 2013 season, putting together a Pro-Bowl caliber resume on defense.
On Friday – 11 years after Hall left Virginia Tech for the NFL – Owens had the opportunity to let Hall know he had won another award: the 2013 Sam Huff Redskins Defensive Player of the Year.
The award was presented at the 53rd-annual Washington Redskins Welcome Home Luncheon.
"This is such a great honor," Hall said. "I'm a kid who grew up a couple hours down the road, went to Virginia Tech – so for me, being a Washington Redskin was always something I wanted."
Owens said Hall brings the perfect attitude to the Redskins' defense.
"When DeAngelo came here, he brought a certain style, electricity, confidence, cockiness, a little swagger," Owens said. "But you know what? You can't play on that island without some confidence and a little swagger – and a little trash talk – because if not, you get eat up."
Consistency has been the name of the game for Hall, who is entering his 11th year in the league.
That certainly continued during the 2013 season, when Hall, 30, showed he's not slowing down anytime soon. In 16 games, he was credited by his coaches with 106 tackles – third-most on the team – and scored a team-record three defensive touchdowns (two via interception return, one via fumble return).
Hall – a three-time Pro Bowler – thanked his coaches for putting him in the right position to make plays.
"We always joke about how I'm probably not the best practice player, but in the game, I tend to turn it on a little bit," said Hall, who re-signed with the Redskins this offseason. "I'm getting old, so I can't turn it on like I used to in practice, but my coaches have done a good job with putting me in position to make plays, and my teammates do a good job of always having my back."
Hall said that even though the 2013 Sam Huff Defensive Player of the Year Award has his name on it, "it's not just for me."
"We all have a job to do, and when we do that job the right way, we're successful," he said.