Hentges found ‘home' at UA

Alabama snagged one of its biggest commitments to date on Saturday, which went public Sunday, in Hale Hentges. The four-star tight end prospect spoke to BamaMag.com about why he selected the Crimson Tide, his approach in recruiting going forward, position projections and much more.

There was a who's who list of college football programs after rising-senior Jefferson City (Ala.) Helias tight end prospect Hale Hentges, and the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder selected Alabama over the weekend. He represents the 16th commitment for Nick Saban within the class of 2015, tops in the nation on Scout.com.

"I was in a unique position and I really wanted to play in an offense that featured two tight ends," he said after going public with the decision Sunday. "I always felt that at Alabama, I had a great chance to do that. I also think the world of Coach [Nick] Saban, Bobby Williams, the tight ends coach, and going there on two visits recently promoted a real sense of home.

"It felt right, and I knew it was what God was calling me to do."

Multiple spring visits, in between seeing several other schools on a big-time offer list, helped seal the deal for Alabama with Hentges. The second trip was almost reassurance of the first.

"Those were the biggest things, there was a real security blanket feeling," he said. "It was what I was meant to do. The second time I visited, before that Easter weekend, I kind of really knew. About a month ago, I was going to take some more visits and see if that feeling was still there.

"It was, it grew, it blossomed and I just knew that this was going to be the place and after every visit I didn't have the same feeling that I did at Alabama -- that's what made it so special."

"…How personable people were down there, how great of a campus it was, the tradition of Alabama football. Those were minor things, but it was all of the little things that really set it over the top."

Playing in a more traditional, pro-style offense, was the first thing Scout's No. 4 tight end prospect mentioned of the program and why he selected them. Lane Kiffin will refine the offense, but it will remain similar to what has helped the Crimson Tide win three national titles in the last half-decade.

"It was a big thing," Hentges admitted. "As a tight end, it's very interesting with the different styles. You can be more of a slot receiver, a road-grater or somewhere in between. I think I'm somewhere in between. I know at Alabama, they like to have someone who is balanced or people that can be both of those. I really felt like I have the chance make an impact in that offense, I really felt that they use their tight ends very well. It's a great fit.

"They like how I can do both, be a true Y (position), or be an H. My versatility was really something they were intrigued in."

The decision was made weeks ago, the Alabama staff was notified on Saturday and the public knew Sunday evening. Either way, there was a sense of excitement on both sides with the big news and the approach to the process going forward may make the staff feel just as elated.

"I don't think it was a total surprise because they (the coaching staff) knew how much I liked it down there," Hentges said. "I told them yesterday, they were thrilled and really excited to have me on their team. They told me they were excited to get a great player and young man and wanted to tell my family that they will take care of me – it was reassuring.

"I'm locked in to Alabama, I don't plan on taking any more visits and I don't want to take any more visits. All my official visits will be to Alabama, I will respect coaches that contact me, but I'll adamantly remind them that I'm committed to Alabama and that's what my heart's telling me to do."

Hentges, who says he will graduate from Helias about a year from now because he wants to participate for its basketball team one more time, maintains a 3.9 GPA and wants to study communications in college.

The Scout 300 prospect elected to add one more thing during his conversation with BamaMag/Scout.

"Roll Tide!" he said.


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