Hale Hentges Talks Recruiting, Buckeye Visit

By Jeremy Birmingham on March 18, 2014 at 12:00p

On Sunday, Avon (Conn.) 2015 star tight end Chris Clark surprised many when he ended his recruitment without making a visit to Ohio State. Clark, who had picked up nearly 45 offers in almost no time at all, was presumed to be Ohio State's primary target at the position in 2015. He held the Buckeyes in high-regard before his sudden commitment to North Carolina, and with that choice, the Buckeyes turn their attention elsewhere.

Of course, a good football team doesn't put all its eggs in one basket, and Clark has never been the only target at tight end for the Buckeyes. In fact, Jefferson City, (Mo.) prospect Hale Hentges, was offered a scholarship by Ohio State almost two months before they offered Clark. Hentges, who visited the Buckeyes on October 26th for the shellacking of Penn State, earned his offer that night from Ohio State. 

On April 3rd, Hentges will make a return trip to Columbus to check out the Buckeyes again, knowing full well that he's the primary target at a position of great need for Urban Meyer and his coaching staff. What do the Buckeyes have to do in order to convince Hentges that Columbus is the place for him?

"I'm looking at places where the coaches care about you (on and off the field,)" Hentges told 11W. "Places where (I'll) be featured and used in the offense and ultimately a chance to help them win a national championship, as well as a chance to play in the NFL."

Hentges, like other tight end prospects recruited by the Buckeyes, has heard the pitch from other schools hoping to land his services: the Buckeyes don't feature the tight end.

"I hear that a bit," he said of schools recruiting him using Ohio State's prolific running attack against the Buckeyes. "I'm just hoping to get there and see more of the campus. I want to spend more time with the coaches as well." 

Hale Hentges
Hentges will visit Ohio State on April 3rd.

A 6-foot-4, 230 pound tight end, Hentges has the size and speed necessary to stretch a defense but to remain effective as a blocker. He's versatile and brings high-level athleticism to the position, a requirement for an Urban Meyer tight end. He talks to Meyer occasionally, but is being recruited by Ohio State's tight ends coach, Tim Hinton. He admits that there's a bit of a pull to stay close to home and play for the SEC's Missouri Tigers. His story sounds vaguely similar to Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott.

"I talk to Coach Hinton a lot, and I talk with Coach Meyer every so often as well," he said of his contact with the Buckeyes. "A lot of my family went (to Missouri) and I was born and raised here. I grew up a fan, but it's all about what's the best fit for me."

Ohio State is hoping to show why Columbus is the best fit for Hentges and his family, who also plan on visiting Michigan, Michigan State, Florida State, Auburn and Alabama — all of whom have offered him a scholarship — in the upcoming weeks. A commitment from Hentges isn't expected, but he says he's not operating on any timeline for a decision and that recruiting in general is wearing on him a bit.

"I'd like to have it done before my senior season," he said of when he could choose a school."But I'll know when I'm ready when I am the right place. It gets pretty tiring having to make call after call every night, but it's necessary."

A star at Helias High School, the nation's sixth-ranked tight end by 247Sports.com's Composite Rankings still finds time to be a kid.

"I'm a big nerd. I like to read and play video games. My favorite books are the Game of Thrones books by George R.R. Martin," Hentges said of how he spends his little free time and keeps himself focused on just being a teenager. "I set a limit on how many calls I can make in one night and I keep a smile on my face." 

As a Game of Thrones fan, I asked Hentges if he'd seen the now famous schedule poster by Buckeye graphic artist Samuel Silverman featuring Urban Meyer in a GOT-esque setting. He'd not, but when given the link to check it out, he was clearly impressed in his response.

"Coach Meyer on the 'Iron Throne'? Just awesome."


Comments Show All Comments

OfficerRabbit's picture

I'm really hoping Braxton has improved his reads this year, specifically going from primaries to checking down (to a TE or RB) if need be. Until we get solid production from a TE in the passing game, it will continue to be one of the most un-sexy positions in our offense, and thus harder to recruit. I imagine our coaches, when talking to recruits, would also be talking down TE use by other teams if the roles were reversed.



+1 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

At what point do Herman and Meyer start featuring the TE in this offense?  While Heuerman and Vannett aren't the most athletic TEs, they create match up problems and Baugh can be a monster if he gets his head on straight.  

-1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Heuerman had 26 catches for 466 yards last season.  What is most astonishing is that he led the team in ypc as a TE, gaining 17.92 per reception.  Add in Vannett's 8 catches and I wouldn't say that the TE was ignored last year, but still could have been utilized more.  It seemed that Heuerman was open down the seam for a big gainer whenever they wanted.  Nobody ever shut down that play.  Hard to figure why it wasn't thrown more.  Maybe this season?

+2 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Lets take UNC for example since we lost Clark to them.  They had a 1,000 TE last year I believe and he will probably be a 1st round pick.  The spread should create mismatches for the TE position and IMO we haven't used them correctly.  

Ahh Saturday's picture

Hey man, I'm on your side.  As I've already said, repeatedly to my TV and anyone in the room last season, "the tight end is OPEN!!" 

+1 HS
BuckeyeJ's picture

This intrigs me because i wonder how many times BM could have missed the read and took off with the ball?

+2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

Which I find funny because the jewel TE of the NFL draft this year, Eric Ebron, had these stats his junior year last year (while being the primary TE, not sharing the role, and having his "break out")

Ebron caught 40 passes for 625 yards and four touchdowns in a breakout 2012 season

So its not like the TE usage at OSU is THAT bad. Ebron became the top TE after that season.

Ebron had 973 yards his senior year. Not quite a 1,000 but might as well be. Doesn't mean Heuerman can't get there his senior year, or more likely 800 yards. and as said above, Ebron was THEE offensive threat on that team. Heuermann is option 4 or 5. So to say the TE is under used at OSU compared to other programs is a bit misleading when you factor in that the TE isn't the primary option for Braxton or the offense in general.

As another example, TAMU TE's only have 6 total receptions last year (from what I can find). That was a prolific passing offense with Mr. football and yet they barely used their TE. THAT is under used!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I wouldn't call A&M a prolific passing offense.  There were a lot of times when Manziel just threw the ball up in the air and the WR's made a great play.  Braxton is an ATH playing QB and that hurts us in the passing game.  I believe JT Barrett will be different.  He is a pure QB who can make plays with his legs.  

Squirrel Master's picture

Even though I agree with your assessment of Manziel, doesn't mean the offense wasn't a passing offense. Manziel threw 429 times for over 4100 yards. No matter how you feel about Manziel, those are "prolific" passing stats (8th overall in yards, top 20 in attempts).

JT might be a more pure QB than Braxton, won't automatically mean the TE will become the primary option like UNC used Ebron. If a TE is looking to be the primary option, then OSU isn't the place for them and nobody at this program should be blamed for that, especially Braxton. This is a run oriented team who uses wideouts more than the TE. JT or anyone won't change that, only Urban and Herman can do that and even Hernandez wasn't that prolific back in Florida. Harvin was the primary just like Philly was last year.

but the point is that the TE position isn't that grossly underused like people think. It just looks that way because this team only passed for 255 times while Braxton was QB, and rushed for 379 times (Hyde and Braxton combined). The TE was used for blocking more than receiving and any decent TE should know that. If a TE just wants to catch balls and not learn how to block properly on running downs, they will have a tough time getting into the NFL. Even Gronk, Gates are good blockers. Graham is the exception but how many Grahams are there. Not many.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
lsjSnail's picture

It would also help if Miller could hit them when they are wide open.

+1 HS
NH-IO's picture

Hale Hentges of Helias? Hell ya!

+5 HS
ODEEZ330's picture

Mizzou lock imo better offer conrad asap

stark county football

+2 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

I like Hentges´tape. But I watched CJ Conrad´s tape last night and it was pretty damn good. Hope we can get land at least one of them. I think TE is one of the most important positions this year in regards to recruiting for us. Have to get a solid TE this year..

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Woody Hayes

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I think we need to offer Conrad pretty soon.  If we are going to take 2 TEs, I don't understand what it would hurt to offer Conrad.  Even if he wanted to commit, we would still take Hentges.  

+3 HS
Shangheyed's picture

Greed is good... get em both!

TUNBUCK89's picture

I'm with you guys. I hope Urban secures the Ohio kid for this class. Last season, Butt was not offered and from what we've seen so far he is going to be a good one for those weasels up north.

buckeyebowhunter's picture

Our tight ends had 34 catches last year for approx 550 yards.  That is an improvement, but I'd like to see that number double.  

+2 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

Don't worry about the TE's in OSU's offense fellas. This is gonna be Jake Stoneburner's year to shine. I just know it...

+2 HS
BKshepherd's picture

Actually, I think Jordan Hall is making waves at TE this year.  Should be an impact player.

osubuck57's picture

I too, would offer Conrad sooner rather than later, especially if we are taking 2 this year.


+1 HS
TraptnMI's picture

Miller just for some reason can't use the G-Damn tightend unless it's down the seam or a broken play. Miller just dosen't have the mental football game on his side, very unfortunate for him and us and everyone on the distribution line. I feel for Tom having to wet-nurse  his confidence. I must say Miller has improved each year so please make me eat these -ukin words you son of a bitch and get pissed off and reach your potential. This is it, money shot HOLMES!!!!!!! Baugh is the best TE since Dudley and will be if he quits tardin out !

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

-6 HS
OSU069's picture

You seriously need to calm down... 

+1 HS
TraptnMI's picture

Sure thing Father Mulcahy. See you on sunday Papi !

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

-3 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

Another 20lbs of lean bulk and this kid could be a boss.

I hope he's not like Chase Coffman's non-blocking self. I still can't believe Cincy wasted a pick on him.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

HilltopHustle's picture

Lives in Missouri, grew up rooting for the Tigers, and can play in the SEC there (hard to believe, isn't it?). With Clark's UNC commitment, Conrad's scholarship offer is two days late right now IMO.

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Hoping fellow Missouri-ite EzE is talking with Hentges, that could be an advantage.

+1 HS
Braxton2Devin's picture

"Of course, a good football team doesn't put all its eggs in one basket".... Didn't OSU do that last year with the quarterback situation?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I don't think so, I think they ended up with a pretty good QB that they liked enough to offer a scholarship.