While recruiting for the 2013 football class is in full swing, it is never too early for schools to focus their attention on elite type football prospects regardless of what class they are in who come to their attention.
One such prospect is Jefferson City (MO) Helias TE/DE Hale Hentges 6'4" 205 (4.9 forty) who is a class of 2015 football recruit.
The athletic freshman played beyond his years on varsity for the Crusaders during the 2011 season, and multiple colleges, including Missouri, have taken notice and already extended verbal offers to Hentges.
"My coach send my highlight tape out to most of the local colleges in the region like Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri and schools in the Big 12 and Big 10, and I heard from Paul Petrino and Arkansas first telling me that they wanted to offer me. Then Iowa did as well as Iowa State and Missouri based on the video from this past year."
Hentges recorded 55 tackles, 5 sacks and 5 tackles for loss playing on the defensive line, and caught 15 passes for 190 yards and 1 TD as a freshman.
I asked him about his most recent offer from Missouri.
" My Dad and I went to a Missouri practice on a Saturday to watch the team and see thing, and I was told that Coach Pinkel wanted to talk to us. We got to meet the whole staff, but Coach Pinkel said they would love for me to play at Missouri," said Hentges.
And his thoughts on adding the home state school to his offer list?
"I was extremely happy! Growing up 30 miles from Columbia I have grown up a Mizzou fan and have followed the program closely, Over the past few years they have established themselves as one of the top program in the country, and now that they are going to the SEC it is going to be even more exciting and should help move the program up even higher," said Hentges.
I also wondered how it felt for a player his age to be garnering so much attention?
"It's a great honor at such a young age. It motivates me and makes me realize that I can live my dream of playing college football. I am going to keep working hard and keep trying to be the best player that I can be," he said.
Hale mentioned that he liked playing offense a little more then defense at the moment, but that he would be fine playing either position in college.
While it is early and Hale said that picking a college isn't something that is really on his radar right at the moment, he did single out a few schools he was keeping a close eye on and why.
"I really like Missouri, Iowa and Stanford for how they use their Tight Ends and develop them. I like playing offense and playing TE. I like to find a gap and have the QB lob it in there to me and let me use my size and athleticism to catch the ball," said Hentges.
And does he have a favorite player or player he patterns himself after?
"I would say Chase Coffman who played at Mizzou and for Cincinnati in the NFL. The way he catch the ball and was able to make plays after the catch, jumping over people and that. I also like Justin Smith as a defensive player. He is from here and is one of my favorite players."
Hale's Dad, Chris Hentges, also played football at Jefferson City Helias and college ball at Iowa State.
While picking a school is still a ways away, Hale said that will be taking unofficial visits to Iowa State and Iowa, as well as a camp at Iowa, and probably camp with Missouri. He also said that he might be visiting Arkansas sometime in the spring.
Hale Hentges is a big athlete who plays beyond his years. He has good size now and will continue to grow and get stronger. Also a talented basketball player, Hentges uses a lot of those basketball skills when playing TE in football. He said that catching a pass is a lot like rebounding for him with defenders on him.
ShowMeMizzou.com will continue to follow the career and recruitment of Hale Hentges.
Hale Hentges Freshman Highlights