Hale Hentges is a lot of things.
He's a 6-foot-6 tight end. He's a member of the Rivals250 watch list. He's a four-star prospect. He's a high school junior with nine scholarship offers already. Maybe most import to his recruitment, though, is the fact that Hale Hentges is a serious Missouri fan.
Raised just 30 minutes away from the Mizzou campus, the Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias standout grew up with a certain affection for the Tigers. It's not one that has faded way under the recruiting process, either. His fanhood is alive and well.
"A lot of the places I have right now are still in the running, but Mizzou is definitely up there," Hentges, a 2015 prospect, said. "I've always like Missouri growing up. I 'm a fan. I like the coaches and the fan base, too. I've always just been a Tiger, I guess you can say. That's the reason they're still in the running."
Henteges' crush on Missouri is being returned, too. To put in grade school terms, the Tigers like him back. Hentges is in regular contact with the Mizzou staff.
Then, there's this:
"They sent me 100 letters today," Hentges said. "I tried to open a substantial amount of them, but there are just so many. My parents are helping me open them and stuff."
Still, there are plenty of other school in the running. More will join in the coming months, too. Hentges isn't naming favorites. It would be silly to do at this juncture.
"I'm kind of keeping my options open,' he said. "I'm getting some stuff from Michigan, Northwestern, Stanford and Oklahoma State."
And those are just the schools that are yet to pull the trigger on an offer. Hentges is exploring schools that have made things official, too. He has plenty to keep him busy.
"I was at Nebraska for their game this weekend," he said. "I was there for the opener. That home sellout streak is real. I was really taken away with that. I mean, that game wasn't even a premier game, and every seat was full. It was really impressive. It was ... don't even know. I was really happy with that offense too. It's really impressive."
Hentges will continue to attack his recruitment in the near future. His decision, when he decides to make it, will certainly be informed. Hentges will visit Arkansas for the Razorbacks' week three game against Southern Miss. He plans to attend Missouri games against both South Carolina and Tennessee., too.
When he's on campus and interacting with coaches, players and fans, he's looking for certain things. Add "methodical" to this list of things Hentges is.
"The standard canned answer is about good academics," Hentges said. "Other than that, I want to see how they use the tight end. I want to go to a place where I am going to be a target, not just a tackle. That and the fan base. You want fans that are going to be loyal and always support you. You want a coach that cares about the players, too."
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