Hale Thinks Gators Will Offer

Joel Hale visited Florida on Friday, April 2. "I loved it down there," Hale said. "I was there for spring break and it was great. They are very interested. I think they'll offer. I loved the location and the way they play. They are the best of the best and that's what I'm looking for. I want to compete against the best every day. Also the facilities are incredible..." Hale also believes that...

Joel Hale, the 6-foot-5, 295-pound three-star defensive end/defensive tackle from Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind., has 11 scholarship offers so far but is expecting more and says that is why he still hasn't named a top five.

"I'm keeping all my options open," Hale said. "Recruiting is just starting to pick up, so I'm gonna see what happens in the next few weeks."

Hale says he won't make a decision until after his senior season. "I still have a while before I need to think about that," he said. "This gives more schools a chance to come in and offer me."

One such school that Hale is waiting on an offer from is Florida. Hale visited Gainesville on Friday, April 2. "I loved it down there," he said. "I was there for spring break and it was great."

But what does Hale believe his chances are that the Gators will offer? "They are very interested," he said. "I think they'll offer.

"I loved the location and the way they play," he said. "They are the best of the best and that's what I'm looking for. I want to compete against the best every day. Also the facilities are incredible."

Another school that Hale hopes will offer is Ohio State. "I've talked with (running backs) coach Dick Tressel and he's great," he said. "He's the guy recruiting my area and we've talked a lot. I visited them already and got to spend some one-on-one time with him and I think I could fit in there."

So although Florida and Ohio State haven't offered, he does have offers from Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky, Iowa State and a few others.

He says the first school to offer him was Indiana. "They offered me last year," he said. "I plan on visiting them for a practice this month. They have really great coaches."

Hale admits that the Hoosiers are his mom's preference. "She likes them a lot," he said. "She likes that they are close (only 45 minutes away) and is a big fan of Bill Lynch and so am I. He's a great guy and he already treats me like a son."

Despite Indiana's close proximity to Hale's home, he says that distance will not be a factor.

Besides Florida, Ohio State and Indiana, Hale says he's also visited Cincinnati, Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Purdue unofficially.

Hale's former teammate, Jordan Luallen, is a freshman quarterback for the Yellow Jackets. "He tells me a lot about Georgia Tech," he said. "He really likes it and I loved it there too. The coaches are really cool."

Although Hale had a good time visiting Georgia Tech, he admits he wasn't sure what to expect beforehand. "I was nervous because I was travelling by myself and I wasn't sure what it was going to be like," he said. "But I felt very comfortable there and it was cool that Jordan goes there.

"I don't think the location is going to matter too much because I'll be so busy with school and football I probably won't even notice it," he said.

Hale admits that he didn't have a favorite school growing up. "That's what makes this harder," he said.

"All the schools so far have something I like," he said.

"I was at Cincinnati and I really like coach Butch Jones," he said. "His whole staff is great and they are all about family. They actually remind me of my high school coaches because that's what it's like here."

So what is going to help Hale narrow down his list? "I'm a competitor and I want to go where I can compete and earn a spot," he said. "I want to win and go where they have good tradition.

"I also want to have good facilities," he said.

Hale finished his junior season with around 50 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks and one interception for a touchdown.

"I do my job," he said. "I'm strong and have good size. I'm pretty explosive off the ball and can hold my own. I just do what I'm supposed to do."

He says he can bench 395-pounds, squat 430 and has a 27-inch vertical jump.

"I want to get my speed up," he said. "I run a 4.57 shuttle and have pretty good quickness but want to work on my 40 time (claims to run a 5.0).

"I'm also working on my pursuit and taking better angles," he said.

Hale plans to major in either physical therapy or sports management. He reports a 3.0 core GPA and a 1500 SAT.

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