Hale hearing from Northwestern

It remains very early in the recruiting process for junior defensive back Naijiel Hale, but he's already receiving plenty of interest. Northwestern is one of the schools already scouting out the standout prospect. PurpleWildcats offers the details on Hale's young recruitment.

Northwestern will have to compete with Oregon and UCLA if it hopes to land Naijiel Hale, a defensive back from St. John Bosco High School in California.

The high-school junior says that he is most impressed by Northwestern's academic standards, an aspect that his recruiters will have to emphasize if they hope to pry him away from the Ducks and Bruins.

"I like the academic program over there," Hale said. "You've got to be really smart to go there and I think that I could do it and I've been talking to the coach about it a lot. I like how they run things over there."

NU assistant head coach and defensive backs coach Jerry Brown has been Hale's lead recruiter from Northwestern.

"We talk a lot," Hale said of his relationship with Coach Brown. "But he always says he can't tell me too much. So we talk about what goes on over there and how they run things and what they look for in a guy."

Oregon head coach Chip Kelly's departure could have an impact on Hale's final decision, but it will likely depend on whom the Ducks hire in his place and what recruiting strategy the new coach follows.

Hale says he is still taking his time with his decision and that the real part of the process will not come until after signing day. In the meantime, he plans to use the offseason to make himself an even better prospect, specifically by increasing his size.

"My main focus right now is to just get bigger and faster," Hale said. "But I'm very quick, so I think I can use that to my advantage."

His family may also have a significant impact on his decision. He says he is very close to his mother and grandmother, and their opinions will play an important role in where he ultimately ends up.

Hale also happens to be the son of the late great rapper Nate Dogg. He will surely be hoping to prove that the words of his father apply to him too: "To all the nonbelievers, now I bet you see, nobody does it better than me."

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