If you want to toughen up your defense, Shayne Hale (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) would probably be the first guy you're going to bring to your team. The Notre Dame defense needs a physical presence and they've just offered Shayne a scholarship.
"I got my offer from Notre Dame today," Hale responded when asked if Notre Dame had been in touch with him. "Everything went well. I was very excited. I wanted an offer from Notre Dame.
"I talked to my coach and he said coach Weis was on the phone. I got on and [Weis] said, "Do you want a scholarship to Notre Dame?"
I said, "Yeah."
Then he said, "Well, you got one."
"That was pretty cool," Hale said of his conversation with the Notre Dame head coach. "He's a real good coach. He's cool. I don't know much about him though.
"I went to the Penn State game [at Notre Dame]. I was there to see both teams, but I wanted to see my boy Justin [King]. I don't play favorites or anything like that. I was just there to watch the game. It was a nice game. It was a crazy atmosphere. The fans were crazy and the student section was off the wall. I like how they throw each other in the air. They didn't get me though.
"I plan on being up there on March 4," Shayne added.
Before he visits Notre Dame again, Hale will take a trip to Kentucky this weekend. If the amount of attention he's receiving now is any indication, he make several more unofficial visits this spring.
"I think I have about 15 or 16 offers," Hale explained. "Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Kentucky, Tennessee, Rutgers, North Carolina, Temple, Pitt, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, West Virginia. There are more I just can't remember right now.
"It's crazy. It's something that I hoped for, so I'm just excited. I'm loving it."
A prospect with Shayne's size could play several positions, but most of the teams recruiting him are in agreement.
"Most of them are recruiting me to play middle linebacker," Hale said. "I haven't heard anything other than that. I like to play it so I definitely want to keep playing it.
"I can play either side, but I mostly played strong-side linebacker this year. I had a younger guy next to me, so I was teaching him as we went along. I moved around a lot, so I wouldn't be as easy to pick off.
"My strength is definitely my speed. I don't think any running back in my conference can outrun me, because I have the speed and the determination to catch them and take them down. I get out there every day and say, ‘I will not be beat.' Every day in the weight room I tell myself, ‘I will not be beat'. I just go out there with a positive attitude, prepare my teammates, have fun, and attack the football."
Hale finished his junior season at Gateway with 105 tackles including 13 for a loss. He also recorded five sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Hale reports a 3.0 g.p.a.