"He said ‘I grew up a Bruin fan and there was nothing else I could see myself doing', shook Coach Dorrell's hand and told him ‘I'm committing," said Hale's father, Jack.
The anchor of the Griffins defense, Hale saw his stock begin to pick up in his first season as a linebacker. Last week he took an official trip to Boise State and the Broncos staff offered him, but he kept that on hold, waiting to see what UCLA did.
When he took his official visit this weekend, Hale spent time with the Bruin staff, specifically defensive coordinator Larry Kerr, to see what his role would be in the Bruins defense.
"Coach Kerr said John reminded him of Spencer Havner and he would play in that role that Spencer does. He's not coming in expecting to start, but the coaches said John will have a chance to compete for the #2 spot behind Spencer," said Hale.
"John really liked the staff at Boise State, but he really likes the staff at UCLA too. He grew up a Bruin fan and always wanted to play there. A lot of the coaches said for being a first-year linebacker, he is going to be a good one," said Hale.
After he committed, Hale and his father went and bought plenty of UCLA memorabilia from the Student Store.
"We went to the Student Union and bought some hats and shirts. He's just walking on air right now."
As a senior, Hale was an all-CIF selection to the Division I team after helping the Griffins get to the CIF Division I Finals, which they lost to Long Beach Poly. He was also named to the All-Orange County team, and was the Sunset League Defensive MVP. He teamed with UCLA receiver commit Jeremy Childs.
Hale recorded 150 tackles and 10 sacks from his linebacker spot, and as a TE scored four touchdowns on only 7 receptions. His top performance was a school-record setting effort in which he had 21 tackles against Esperanza.
An excellent student, Hale has a 3.67 GPA and a 1090 SAT score, easily qualifying him.