Five things you probably didn't know about BYU fullback Kalin Hall:

1. He was a high school hoodlum.2. He's a member of the LDS Church.

3. On his first visit to Brigham Young, he said, "This is the place."

4. He isn't a fullback.

5. He'd rather be humble.

If he sounds different, he is. In many ways, he's a contradiction. He's a black running back at a white school, a spokesman for spirituality in a game dominated by the worldly, a baby face on a baby-bull body.

He's sincere and forthright, and he believes. Oh, boy, does he believe. A recent convert to both religion and BYU, Hall describes his introduction to both in enthusiastic terms not usually used by machismo-happy football players.

Of his recruiting visit to BYU, for instance, he says: "The first day I came up here, before I even finished taking the rest of my trips, I said, `This is where I'm going to go to school.' I just felt a spiritual feeling that this is where I need to be. I almost came to tears when I came to that decision, because I felt so good about it."

If the Cougar coaching staff had known then how good Hall would be, they might have shed tears of joy, too. In just two games, he has rushed for 257 yards on 30 carries - an average of 8.6 yards per carry.

And Hall says we ain't seen nothing yet.

Well, he didn't say it exactly like that, because he's trying hard to be humble. But like the saying goes, "It's hard to be humble . . . ."

"I try to consider myself as a humble person," Hall says. "Any gifts we have are God-given, so we should not boast of things that are not ours. But I've never been shy about my abilities, either."

A few years ago, Hall was willing to sacrifice his ability so he could fool around. He played halfback on the junior varsity at Valley High in Las Vegas as a sophomore, gaining about a thousand yards in just four games, but then ran into grade problems.

"I was just a hoodlum then," he said. "I liked to run around."

All his running as a junior was off the field, however, and that got old.

"When I was at the games, watching the guys play, I knew I could do a lot better than they were doing out there," he said. "I was wasting my talent sitting up there in the stands. I got kind of depressed about that."

He got his act together for his senior season, and with just a few years of little-league football and a couple of JV games on his resume, he showed that his thoughts of wasted talent weren't idle pride. He set a state rushing record that 1989 season, with "about 1,600 yards," and was named state player of the year. Even after all that, Hall felt he had more to show.

"I figure I could have done a lot better," he said. "We didn't really have a passing attack. The whole focus of our offense was on me. Everyone we played against would stack nine players on the line, and my coaches would tell me to ad lib."

USC, among others, liked his ad libs enough to recruit him, but his classwork still hadn't made the grade. So he enrolled at Dixie College, just over the border in St. George, attracted by the proximity to home and the Rebels' I-formation offense.

"(Going to Dixie) was a good opportunity for me to grow as a person," Hall says. "There were a lot of things that happened there that changed my life. If I had gone to USC right out of high school, I don't think I'd be the type of person I am today."

The big change occurred after Hall became close to several Polynesian players who were members of the LDS Church. He overheard one of his friends discussing religion one day, and asked to know more. It's not an original story, to anyone but him.

With a new lifestyle established, it was a natural for Hall to come to "Clean, Sober" BYU. It didn't bother him that the Cougars' reputation was for running the ball about as often as coach LaVell Edwards smiles on the sidelines.

"With the type of schedule BYU plays, you aren't going to get by just passing the ball anymore," Hall says.

He also doesn't mind the switch to fullback for the first time in his life. "I like to run inside," he said. "I'm real short (BYU media guide says 5-foot-10; forget it - he's 5-8), I have stout legs, and I weigh a lot more (205) than people think. Guys underestimate me. I get in the trenches and hide behind those big linemen and the defense has to work to find me."

When they don't find him, and he gets into an opponent's defensive secondary, he can do some real damage. Eleven of his 30 carries have been for double-figure yardage, including a 67-yarder in which (blush!) he was caught from behind at the 5-yard line by a San Diego State defensive back.

"I never got caught like that before," Hall said. "I was shocked, totally."

That play, though, illustrates why he thinks Cougar fans haven't seen his best yet. Because of a summer spent battling allergy problems and a pulled leg muscle, Hall was unable to run and lost some speed. Despite that, he feels that he and halfback Jamal Willis - running through holes provided by BYU's jumbo linemen - make for a formidable backfield.

"This is a pretty young team, and we're only going to get better," he said. "It's going to be hard to stop us. As it gets down to the end of this year, we're going to give it a run."