The three-star prospect will more than likely red-shirt in 2011, and he did enroll early, so he has a head-start in working with the strength and conditioning program. Hale will also go through spring football in April.
Ahead of him on the Buckeye depth chart would be players like Johnny Simon, Johnathon Hankins, Adam Bellamy, Garrett Goebel, and others. The Buckeyes are also bringing in four other defensive linemen in this class.
Hale is an intriguing combination of size and athletic ability, although he would appear to be a player that would benefit greatly from a year in the weight room. He compares favorably to Goebel coming out of high school, and Hale has a similar motor and work ethic.
"A strong-side defensive end for his Center Grove team, Hale has a quick burst off the line of scrimmage and gets a good push against his blockers with a strong leg drive. He has a big time motor and is constantly chasing the ball no matter where the play is going. He needs to use his hands better to get off blocks and not let offensive linemen into his chest. Better in a straight line than laterally, Hale may be a better OG/C," - Scott Kennedy.
Hale on his future:
Credit Joel Hale for being able to identify a trend as it begins to develop.
After Ohio State accepted two verbal commitments in the span of three days, its class of 2011 sat at 13 members. Counted among them were four other defensive linemen.
In other words, if the lineman from Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove wanted to become a Buckeye, the time was running out. After taking a trip to campus June 7, Hale said he opted to pull the trigger.
"I had planned on maybe (committing) toward the end of the summer, right before my first game, but once I got back from Ohio State I knew the that the spots for defensive linemen were closing down so I went ahead and committed to secure my spot," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "I got to meet a couple of the players. That was really what locked it down.
"I knew that Ohio State was probably going to be the decision because it's close to home. I didn't have a problem going away from home but it's going to be a lot easier for my family."