Busy Summer for Hale

Indiana's Joel Hale has grown into a national recruit over the past few months. FightOnState.com had the chance to catch up with the defensive tackle to talk about his summer plans.

Since his strong showing at the U.S. Army National Combine during U.S. Army All-American Bowl week in San Antonio this past January, Joel Hale has been making a splash. Currently one of the most highly recruited linemen in the nation, Hale has gotten quite a buzz going about his recruitment. On Monday, Georgia Tech visited his school to get a little more information on Hale.

With the last day of school this Wednesday, a busy summer schedule is set for Hale. While he doesn't plan to participate in any camps, there will be plenty of campus visits. It will be a chance for Hale to travel across the country and check out several of the 18 universities offering him a ride right now. The number hasn't grown much over the past month, but the quality is clearly there.

"After I got the big ones, things began to slow down a little bit," Hale told FightOnState.com.

The "big ones" he is referring to, according to the player, are Ohio State, Florida and Penn State.

This summer, the Greenwood, Ind., native plans to visit the aforementioned programs and perhaps a few others "that interest me right now." He said that Indiana, Ohio State and Georgia Tech are after him the hardest and pursuing the defensive tackle the strongest. Ideally, Hale would like to make a decision before the season but he acknowledges that will only happen if he feels comfortable that he's found the right program.

"For me, what's most important is the academics, the coaching staff and the program and how they perform," Hale said.

His offer from Penn State was one of the "big ones" and Hale is looking forward to seeing campus in person since he's never been to State College. Right now, he's getting mainly letters from the coaching staff but it has been steady communication, he says. He's talked on the phone as well with some of the staff but he knows of the Nittany Lions by reputation.

"I know they're a great academic school," Hale said. "A degree from there can take you far."

On the field, he knows a little bit too.

"They're on TV a lot and they win games. They also have players in the NFL. Penn State has a lot of tradition, too," Hale said. "I'm looking forward to learning more about them."

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for questions, comments and crude remarks at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012

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