85ºF

How former Chiefs player Dante Hall got his start in Texas

MIAMI, Fla. – One of the best returners in NFL history is connected to both the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston.

Dante Hall played running back at Nimitz High School before playing at Texas A&M and going on to achieve a standout career as one of the greatest special teams weapons in pro football history for the Kansas City Chiefs and briefly the St. Louis Rams.

NIMITZ DREAMS

Hall said when he was in high school he “didn’t dream big enough,” and simply wanted to originally get a scholarship to college then maybe get a shot at the NFL.

STARRING AT A&M

Hall is still high up on the record boards at Texas A&M, where he is ninth in career rushing and second in all-purpose yards in school history. Hill joked around that he couldn’t believe Nimitz or A&M put him at running back because of his size (listed at 5 feet 8 inches and 187 pounds). The diminutive speedster picked up second Team All-Big 12 in 1997.

NFL BEGINNINGS

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Hall in the fifth round in 2000 and immediately installed him as a kick returner. Hall had to switch positions to wide receiver, not playing on offense in that role until 2002. In 2001, Hall took the full-time returner job for the Chiefs returning both kicks and punts.

THE X-FACTOR

Hall joked that he couldn’t believe that he earned two nicknames in the NFL -- “The X-Factor” and “The Human Joystick.” Starting in 2002, Hall went six consecutive seasons with a return touchdown including Pro Bowl years in 2002 and 2003. He was even a guest on Late Night with David Letterman in 2003.

Hall was so feared as a returner, that an opposing coach once asked him where his mom was sitting so that the team could kick it to her instead. He ended up with 12 career return touchdowns. Hall has six of each kick and punt return touchdowns and ranks top 10 all-time in both categories. His 12 total return touchdowns is tied third all-time, and Hall is the only player in NFL history with at least six of both.