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Q&A with Nevada's Lawson Hall prepping for a spring season and Black Lives Matter

Lawson Hall
Lawson Hall was second on the Wolf Pack in tackles last season. (Kyle Pulek/Nevada athletics)

It's hard to decipher whether Lawson Hall has been better on the field or off it during his first four years at Nevada. He's excelled at both.

The Wolf Pack's fifth-year senior linebacker ranked second on the team in 2019 in tackles (56) while adding two interceptions, three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Hall, who has 115 career tackles, also is a three-time All-Mountain West academic honoree who has earned his bachelor's degree. He's also mentored youth in his hometown of Los Angeles as well as Reno; packaged meals for families in L.A. and Boise, prior to last year's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl; and spearheaded the Wolf Pack's recent Black Lives Matter video, which led to an invitation to join a conference call with U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto about racial injustice.

Because of Hall's play last season and his efforts in the classroom and the community, he has been named Nevada Sports Net's Wolf Pack Athlete of the Month in August, an honor presented in partnership with Champion Chevrolet. You can watch our full interview with Hall below or check out the Q&A underneath that.

Q&A with Lawson Hall

On the feeling when Nevada's fall season was canceled

Lawson Hall: "It was obviously crushing news because we've worked so hard to get to his point, but the uncertainty has meant we've had to have a lot of faith in ourselves and also the plan of our administration and coaches to do the right things and keep us safe and push us in the right position so we're prepared when we do have a season. It's kind of been an uphill battle."

On how involved the players were in the decision

LH: "We weren't really involved in the decision-making. They kind of keep us in the loop on what they talked about in there and what they decided, but we don't really have a say in that aspect."

On the biggest differences preparing for this season

LH: "One of the main differences was the split practices. We'd do one at 7 (a.m.) and one at 9 (a.m.), and in the middle we'd do special teams. It was so different because we didn't have everybody practicing. Most of us only had one backup in practice, so we had to take a lot of reps. It was physically draining, but it made room for some young guys to show up a little bit and show what they had. If we had a regular camp, they probably wouldn't have gotten all those reps."

On looking forward to his senior season and what it'd mean to lose that year

LH: "I was excited, obviously. I was getting ready to have a pretty good year, I was working hard. Like I said, it's saddening news, but we're trying to look to the bright side of things and look to prepare for the season we are going to have at some point, and hopefully I'll be a part of that."

On taking on a leadership role with four departed linebackers

LH: "I kind of took some guys under my wing and let them know during these uncertain times we can still get better and still get work in, and we can't let off the gas pedal because a lot of teams in the country are, and if we want to end up winning a Mountain West championship we have to stay on it and stay on top of things."

On where he got his altruistic spirit

LH: "My mom kind of encouraged me to do things like that. With her working in the LAPD, she has done things like that throughout her career, so she encouraged me to do things like that. I've always been the one to lend a helping hand because I know there are people who need that in this world. I wanted to be a part of that change and positive influence in my community."

On how that childhood helped shape his outlook on life

LH: "It's helped shape me pretty well. It's kind of how my values and morals are aligned now. I'm kind of thinking about others first in this point in my life. It came with growing up, came with maturity, but from a young age I've always been looking to provide some type of assistance to anyone."

On supporting Black Lives Matter while being the son of a police officer

LH: "It's important to me because I grew up in a community that had experienced that, and with my mom being an LAPD lieutenant, she has experienced hate and other things in that way. She knows right from wrong, so ever since I was a kid, she tells me what's going on in the world and what to do in certain situations. I've been groomed and taught to not do certain things when you get pulled over and to not look a certain way to protect myself from the corruptness that's going on."

On talks his black and white teammates have had this offseason

LH: "We had multiple Zoom calls to discuss the current state of the country and to shed light to people who didn't know what was going on or had different experiences. We told them what we go through on a daily basis in terms of our African-American players. It was a constructive call to bring awareness to the whole team so we're on the same page so they can all show support."

On participating on a conference call with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

LH: "It was really cool to sit in and hear what everyone was talking about. We just pitched some ideas about how to implement change, and she listened and she gave us great feedback and I really appreciated her for doing that and having me on the call."

On his college major and future plans

LH: "I got my undergrad in finance with a minor in economics. Currently, I'm a grad student in the MBA program. At some point, I want to be an entrepreneur, CEO and get together with my brother. He got his undergrad in marketing. We want to do something with that. The future is bright. I can go a lot of different ways. I'm going to let it come to me."

On former prep teammate and current Nevada teammate Dom Peterson

LH: "He's always brought the energy on defense. He's one of those guys where you don't have to ask him to pick it up, to get everybody motivated. He's that main motivator out there. I love playing with him. He makes big plays, he does the right things, he's a great asset out there on the field."

On continuing to practice as Nevada hopes for a spring season

LH: "We're out there getting it in. If we're out there practicing, we might as well practice like we're going to play next week. The energy is still there. Guys still want to be out there. It's still all about competing and seeing what different guys can do in a live setting and seeing the evaluation for some of these freshmen who are ready to play."

On the biggest challenge as the Wolf Pack prepares for a potential season

LH: "Just keeping people motivated. It's hard to stay focused when there's no clear goal or clear ending in sight. Just keeping people motivated and making sure everybody stays on their craft and stays working. We are Division I athletes, and we have to work year round in order to achieve the goals we want."

For previous Wolf Pack Athletes of the Month Q&As, click here.

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