BYU football: Max Hall wants to look ahead, not to the past

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 9 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

BYU quarterback Max Hall tries to shake hands with official Land Clark following a penalty earlier this season.  (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU quarterback Max Hall tries to shake hands with official Land Clark following a penalty earlier this season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO — While BYU quarterback Max Hall was answering questions Tuesday from reporters for the first time since the Utah game more than a week ago, tight end Dennis Pitta stood by, listening in, until he couldn't resist offering some comic relief.

"I don't know if you guys have addressed it, but how do you feel about Utah?" Pitta deadpanned. "I haven't heard anything about it."

The levity provided by Pitta, who is Hall's brother-in-law, drew laughter from Hall and the few assembled reporters.

"Hey, Dennis, thanks, buddy," Hall said.

"You know, it was the big elephant in the room," Pitta replied with a grin as he walked out of the Cougars' indoor practice facility.

Of course, "the big elephant in the room" Pitta was referring to was Hall's inflammatory comments about Utah following the Cougars' 26-23 overtime victory over the Utes on Nov. 28. Those controversial statements caused a big stir among fans from both schools.

The day after the game, Hall issued a press release through the BYU sports information department, clarifying and apologizing for some of his comments.

On Tuesday, Hall said he doesn't want to address the matter anymore.

"I'm done talking about it. That statement is how I felt. I just want to move on," he said. "I've moved on a long time ago. ... I really meant what I said when I put out a statement. That wasn't something that they called me up and said I needed to do. I actually called (BYU football media relations director Brett Pyne) about it and said, 'I've got some stuff I want to say.' They were nice enough to let me put out a statement."

As far as the reaction he's received from people the past week or so, Hall said, "I don't read a lot of stuff or pay attention to that. But for the most part, as far as phone calls and people I've seen, it's been positive. It's been good. I've had a lot of support and a lot of great people have approached me. It's been a blessing."

Since the win over Utah, Hall and his wife, Mckinzi, have moved out of their Provo residence and taken their possessions to Arizona, where Mckinzi is currently living, Hall said. After BYU plays Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22, the couple will reside in Arizona and Hall will begin preparing for what he hopes will be a career in the National Football League.

With one more game remaining in his collegiate career, Hall — who is BYU's all-time winningest quarterback — is excited about wrapping up his career against a Pac-10 opponent like Oregon State.

"It's a great opportunity," he said. "The Pac-10 sent us one of the best teams out (of that league), which was really, really close to playing in the Rose Bowl. They're a very good football team. It's going to be a lot of fun to play them."

Hall said he is grateful for his time in Provo.

"It's really been a great ride. It's been a ton of fun and I've enjoyed it the whole way," he said. "There's been a lot of ups, a lot of downs and I've taken both sides of it. So I've really been blessed.

"I've been healthy and I've been able to have some success while I've been here and win a lot of football games. It means a lot to play with a lot of great guys. I have some great coaches around me and a lot of great support as far as fans and people in the organization. It's been tremendous."

ANOTHER COMMITMENT: Alta linebacker Toloa'I Ho-Ching has committed to play at BYU as part of the class of 2010. Ho-Ching, who met with Cougars' coach Bronco Mendenhall on Monday, picked BYU over Wisconsin of the Big Ten. He also had offers from Stanford, Wyoming and Utah State. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder was named to the 5A Deseret News second team after helping lead the Hawks to the 5A semifinals. He missed two games this season due to a knee injury.

Ho-Ching plans on serving an LDS Church mission before beginning his career as a Cougar.

Maaco Bowl Las Vegas

BYU (10-2) vs.Oregon St. (8-4)

Dec. 22, 6 p.m., Sam Boyd Stadium


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