Thayer Hall arrived home from school the day before last week’s early Signing Period began.
Committed to Florida since a sophomore, Wednesday’s ceremonies weren’t exactly occupying her mind at the moment.
As she walked up to her front porch, she was thinking about anything but making it official with the Gators the next day. Then, it caught her eye.
“It was sitting right there,” Hall said.
It was her National Letter of Intent.
Suddenly, years of waiting turned into reality.
“I completely forgot it was going to be there,” Hall said. “I was thinking, ‘It’s finally here. It’s official.’”
It technically wasn’t just yet.
Hall still had to sign it.
A 6-3 outside and PrepVolleyball.com’s top Senior Ace for the Class of 2018, Hall leads a recruiting haul that’ll have Florida in the conversation for one of the best incoming freshmen classes in the nation when we release our official Top 30 Recruiting Class rankings in the spring.
We spoke with Hall after she signed her letter last week, days after wrapping up a second consecutive state championship for Dorman HS.
Here’s what she shared with us:
What was going through your mind during Signing Day?
Hall: Having to let go of the four-year process at Dorman really breaks my heart. I look at it as I’m trading Cavs’ blue for Florida blue now. I’ve been committed for two years and in the back of my head I know I was going to Florida and now I’m officially a Gator. I have a new four years. Next season I’ll be a freshman again and having to learn the ropes. I’m excited to hopefully make a name for myself and do there what we were able to do at Dorman.
What was the ceremony itself like for you?
Hall: I was the only volleyball player. There were three basketball players, two baseball players and one for lacrosse. It was pretty emotional for me. Every player gets to have the mic for a few minutes. I talked about thanking my teammates and coaches. Then the coaches get to a say a few words. Coach (Paula) Kirkland was talking about what we have done and she was saying how that doesn’t matter as much as the person. We focus so much on the person we are outside of athletics and she was talking about how that’s the real legacy I’m leaving behind. I’m going to miss that. It’s hard to close that door, but my locker is cleaned out, my jersey is turned in and my letter is signed.
How do you go about handling all the attention and expectations that come along with being someone in your position?
Hall: Coming into my freshman year at Dorman, I would have never imagined accomplishing what we did. Everything we did, that legacy is now what I want to have happen at Florida. That’s what I want Florida volleyball to be when I leave. I hold myself to a high standard. I’ve been blessed with amazing, God-given talent. It’s about giving 100 percent. I’m going in with the same mindset.
What else would you like to say before we wrap up?
Hall: Getting to play high school volleyball and being in the locker room with the girls, I loved that I experienced it. I know sometimes we are saying we are ready for it to be over so we can get to club season and then college. For me, I just ended on one of the highest notes by winning our second consecutive state championship. I cried more than ever before. I love everything about it. I love everything it’s grown to be. I love everything in between. It shatters my heart to let it go. Once you get to college, nothing is the same. I have an older brother and when he comes back, it’s not the same. For girls in high school, don’t take one moment of it for granted.