Panther Profile: Shayne Hale

Over the next few weeks as the Panthers prepare for spring practice, the Pantherdigest will be profiling the members of the class of 2008 that will land in Oakland this year. You will read several interesting stories beginning with Gateway linebacker Shayne Hale.

The University of Pittsburgh will receive two talented players from Gateway High School in their 2008 football recruiting class; five-star linebacker Shayne Hale and running back/wide receiver Cameron Saddler.

The two players are cousins. They go to Pitt basketball games together. Their relationship goes back to a pre-teen rivalry when Hale played running back for his middle school team and Saddler for the local Pee Wee team.

And that might be where the similarities end.

For as outgoing as Saddler is, Hale chooses a more laid back approach.

For instance, ask Saddler what his favorite TV show or movie is and he'll go into detail about "Criminal Minds" on CBS or Johnny Depp's "Blow."

Ask Hale the same question and he says, "I don't really have one."

This is not to say Hale is dull or boring. He likes to dance and even participates in winter sports such as ice skating and snowboarding.

But he readily admits during his recruiting trip to Pitt, the Oakland Zoo made him do things he would not ordinarily participate in.

The date was December 15, when Pitt beat Oklahoma State, 85-68. Hale made his official visit that day and was wooed into the Zoo's demonstrative spirit, who greeted him with various signs encouraging him to commit to the Panthers.

"I was ‘WOW!' It felt very good," Hale said of the red carpet treatment he, a high school student, was receiving from college kids.

Suddenly, he was handed a "Zoo" t-shirt from a student, who took it right off his back. Then he went to watch the game with infamously demonstrative undergraduates.

One thing leads to another and the normally mild-mannered Hale is jumping and screaming with the crowd.

"It was definitely out of character," he said. "It was a real fun time, though."

Hale does have a flair for the dramatic, such as when he decided to hold off his announcement as to whether he would attend Ohio State or Pitt at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

But mostly, he identifies more with his workout regimen.

This past year Hale and Saddler, along with fellow Gateway stars Dorian Bell and Slippery Rock commit Julian Senior, would engage in exhaustive workout sessions throughout the year.

"They were crazy hours. Before camp we'd work so hard then run around Garden City," said Hale. Garden City is a Monroeville neighborhood.

"We would have hit the pool afterwards, but we were too tired!"

Hale engages in workouts six times a week. In addition to helping him prepare for football, it may also help him prepare for a career as a gym teacher, a profession that intrigues him.

"I'm learning what exercises develop my muscles," Hale said. "I work so hard to get to where I am now. It makes me want to work even harder and achieve my goals."

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