Time and Change is a series at BuckeyeNation in which we chat with former Ohio State athletes.
Roy Hall enrolled at Ohio State in 2002, playing on the scout team of the national championship squad.
In 47 games with the Buckeyes, Hall finished with 52 receptions for 580 yards and scored three touchdowns. He returned seven kickoffs for 129 yards and had a blocked punt.
Taken in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Hall was placed on injured reserve after three games following a special-teams collision against the Houston Texans. He played in four games for the Colts in 2008, catching one pass for 0 yards before being waived in 2010.
An injury-plagued career where he played with the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions and Omaha Nighthawks ended last year.
Hall, 28, now lives in Columbus and is the president of the DRIVEN Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded with former OSU teammate Antonio Smith in 2008.
DRIVEN is an organization committed to providing a continuum of educational programs along with support services to underserved communities throughout Central Ohio and surrounding cities.
Mentoring and after school youth fitness programs, football camps and Children's Hospital patient birthday parties are just a few vehicles in which DRIVEN impacts Ohio children. The organization has distributed more than 200,000 pounds of free food to Ohio families in the last three years.
BN: The national championship the Buckeyes won, what was it like to be there and what was going through your mind on the last play?
Hall: You know what, it's funny. As a freshman, you do some goofy things at times. A lot of the freshmen got together and wanted to get close to Coach [Jim] Tressel, especially the redshirt guys. We were hoping to win that game because if we won, we knew the cameras would be on Coach Tressel. We decided to get around him to get some camera time.
We were extremely excited as freshmen to win a national championship. It set the tone the next four years for our careers. It set the bar so high that anything less than a national championship would be unsuccessful for our class.
BN: What is it about Ohio State where recruits should get excited about playing for the Buckeyes?
Hall: First of all, you have the best coach in the nation. The head coach of The Ohio State University is always going to be someone who cares about his players. Right now, we have the best coach pound for pound in college football. His resume speaks for itself in coach Urban Meyer.
The university itself, there's nothing like Buckeyes football, there are 105,000 people consistently backing their team.
BN: You started your organization, what have you pulled from the university or maybe one of the coaches that you're using every day in the business world?
Hall: I learned it's never about you. When you are able to put other people before you, you understand the significance of helping others. When you can add value to another person's life, you somewhere somehow will need somebody as well. You have to use your platform as a vehicle to get people to the same level you've reached. You have to give people opportunities or navigate them toward reaching their dreams.
Coach Tressel did a very, very good job of imparting into us that giving was the best way to use your talent. He always pushed us to visit hospitals or to do community outreach. At the time it seems like you're doing a good deed, but you don't realize the impact you're having on a child or family just by saying hello or signing your name. We go by the motto, "Everybody can be great because anyone can serve."
Hall: To be a Buckeye means you're willing to do whatever it takes for the man standing next to you. It's a "we before me" mentality. It's a level of responsibility you have to carry and maintain at all times. You have to remember who you are at all times. You're not just representing yourself or your family. You're not representing a football team. You're representing everybody around the world that breathes scarlet and gray.
When something happens to one of us, everybody in the Buckeye Nation feels it.
BN: What do you see in the near future for Ohio State football?
Hall: I expect dominance. I expect pure dominance. I expect people to look at Ohio State the same way they look at Alabama, the same way they look at LSU, as a consistently dominant force.
Not just in the Big Ten, but consistently dominant across the board. The SEC has been kind of our Achilles' heel if I can say it that way. Now, you have a general from the SEC coming over and taking over a Big Ten school such as a program as Ohio State, now the tables are turned.
Now, the odds are in our favor. Now we have a coach who has coached an SEC school, he knows how to coach against those schools that we don't get a chance to compete against.
BN: What's next for Roy Hall?
Hall: I've been truly blessed. I see myself continuing to give. The more I give, the more my foundation can grow. We're going to build a facility here in Columbus in the next three years. It won't just be an athletic facility. It will be an all-purpose facility with a chapel, a banquet hall, a kitchen, a football field and a basketball court. These are the things we're working toward.
As soon as we can get one up in Columbus, then we'll get one up in Cleveland, then we'll get one up in Indianapolis and start getting more people involved nationally to make a difference.
I'm plugging away. Every day is a two-a-day for me. It's an unlimited training camp. There are unlimited opportunities for giving, there's no two-and-a-half years to get my pension. There's no, 'I have to play this long to be vested.' I'm forever invested in the game of life with these people.