Joel Hale became the 14th commitment for the Ohio State recruiting class of 2011 tonight. The 6-5/295 defensive lineman from Greenwood, Indiana pulled the trigger on a verbal commitment to Jim Tressel and Jim Heacock, becoming the fifth defensive lineman and third defensive tackle (Michael Bennett, Chase Farris) to do so.
Hale chose the Bucks over offers from Florida, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Wisconsin for others. He visited OSU a few times and with little space remaining in the OSU class, he decided the time was right for a commitment. In his junior year at Center Grove, Hale notched about 50 tackles (12 for loss), 4 sacks, and 1 interception. He says he runs about a 5.0 in the 40-yard dash, can bench 395 pounds, and has a 27-inch vertical leap.
This is a big addition to the future of the defensive line as Hale is highly regarded as one of the best in the country at tackle. I got the chance to see him in person at an OSU practice this spring and he certainly passed the looks test then. With 14 commitments already in the books, look for the Bucks to add around 8, possibly 10 more to this class which should be top 5 in the nation on NLOI Day 2011.