GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Surrounded by a room full of teammates, classmates, friends and family, the moment was almost too much for Derick Hall to handle.
“To my mom, Mom, I love you so much. You mean the world to me," Hall said to the packed audience as emotion swelled in his voice. "Without you, I don’t know where I’d be right now. I just want to thank all of y’all, my family, my friends, my sister, my girlfriend, everybody.”
There was plenty to be thankful for, as the Gulfport senior was officially invited to the 2019 Under Armour All-America High School Football game. The event, which takes place Thursday, January 3 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, annually brings over a hundred of the country’s brightest rising stars under one roof. The game, televised by ESPN2, has previously boasted eventual NFL stars like A.J. Green and Dalvin Cook.
“Man, it’s great. Just (having) this long-term dream of being an Under Armour All-American, growing up watching the game, stuff like that, it’s very huge," Hall said. "I’m blessed and excited.”
Hall becomes the first Under Armour All-American selection in Gulfport program history.
“He’s been excited since this (was announced)," Admirals head coach John Archie said. “He’s been nervous all day about this, he didn’t know what to expect. I think it represents, in his comments, the humbleness of a kid he is, how excited he is and how he’s gonna represent Gulfport.”
Hall, a four-star prospect, has narrowed his list of possible collegiate destinations to Auburn, Mississippi State and Florida. He plans to make an announcement with his decision “very soon.”