Daeshon Hall spent the offseason working out in Houston, close to where he went to college at Texas A&M University.
He knew he needed to gain weight if he wanted a job with the Eagles. Hall joined the team late last year, tipping the scales around 240, 245 pounds. It’s a decent weight for a linebacker, which some of Hall’s previous teams tried to make him, so he had lost weight to get there, but for a defensive end, the position the Eagles wanted him to play, it was much too light.
Lifting weights wasn’t going to be enough. Hall had to eat right, too.
That’s where his mother, Erika Frost, weighed in. She began making meals for Daeshon, but, because Erika lived in Dallas, which is more than four hours away from Houston, she and her son decided to meet halfway for the homemade food delivery.
VIDEO: Daeshon Hall explains his NFL journey
Erika made him collard greens, mac and cheese, fried chicken; she even whipped up some Philly cheesesteaks.
“She can do it all, for real,” said Hall. “She’s so versatile. If I needed something, she’d definitely look it up and make it.”
The meal plan paid off.
Hall’s weight is up, hovering around 265, 270 on his 6-5 frame, and it has made a difference in his game.
He has been the Eagles’ standout of the preseason, and leads the league in sacks with three after two games. He also leads the NFL in quarterback hits with five and forced fumbles with two, and he has made eight tackles.
“I feel like when you gain a little weight, you’re not that easy to push around,” said Hall. “You feel more stout in the run game and you can switch it up from speed and you can go power, so being able to switch it up has been big.
“I try to be an all-around athlete, mix a little power, a little speed in, because I feel if you’re only good at one thing, people can scheme you and just sit on that, so I just try to be versatile.”
Hall had relied primarily on speed when he arrived in Philly after being signed off the practice squad of the Houston Texans on Dec. 11. He made it into three games, but played just 16 snaps and made two tackles.
“He got to us midway through last year and he was in the transition of going from outside linebacker to 4-3 defensive end,” said Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. “He had been asked to lose weight in Houston, but he was gaining weight here, so he was a little bit of a work in progress there.
“He’s come back, had a really good spring and he’s stacked a good training camp on top of that. He has good speed, he’s long, he fits our stuff that way, and he’s really been tough. He plays physical football for us and that’s what we are looking for.”
As good of a preseason as he is having, Hall knows he is not a lock to win a job on the 53-man roster. Whenever he is asked about his preseason, he says he is just trying to be consistent for this team or whatever team might want him if the Eagles don’t.
“I just know how the business works,” said Hall. “I’m trying to put my best thing on the grass and just hope for the best.”
Hall knows the business side all too well.
He was a third-round draft pick – the 77th player taken overall - of the Carolina Panthers in 2017, the year the draft was held at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Hall made it into only one game that year and was released on Sept. 1, 2018.
From there, he bounced around on practice squads of the 49ers and Texans before getting his shot with the Eagles.
Still on his rookie contract, and making $645,000 this year and, if there is a next year, $735,000, he could prove to be a real bargain.
“This isn’t a shock,” said Hall. “I knew I had it, but everybody goes through a different journey. My journey was just a little slower. It’s picking up now, I feel good about it, and thank God it’s picking up.”