Joel Hale, a 6-5, 295-pound defensive tackle from Greenwood (IN) Center Grove, has plenty of options…
IN OL Joel Hale talks recruiting, Michigan
Joel Hale: "This weekend, I will not be able to make it up. They had invited me and everything. I'm just going to have trouble getting up this weekend. School is getting ready to end and I've got my finals coming up, so I need to crack down."
Sam Webb: Really quickly, recap for me how last season went for you. How did you do on the football field?
Joel Hale: "For me, I have a lot of things that I need to work on still. I wasn't satisfied with my season. I guess I played fairly well. There are just a lot of things that I can improve on."
Sam Webb: If I'm a scout in the stands and I'm watching Joel Hale on the field, what do I see? Sort of break down your game from a scouting perspective.
Joel Hale: "I'm big and I'm fast. I get off the ball well. I think the main thing with me is that I do my job. I do not have to be making the play. If I'm told to turn the guy back in so that a linebacker can make the play, I'll make sure that that guy does not get outside of me and I'll turn him back in so the linebacker can make the play. Also, leadership on the field too. I'm the loud one."
Sam Webb: How many offers do you have at this point?
Joel Hale: "I think I'm at 18."
Sam Webb: You've got them from all over the country… I do not know if you've thought about this yet, but is distance from home going to be a factor in your recruitment?
Joel Hale: "No."
Sam Webb: Not at all? What about for your mom? What does she have to say about that (laughter)?
Joel Hale: "She'll be the one that keeps me close to home if I decide to go that route."
Sam Webb: So did you grow up a fan of any particular school?
Joel Hale: "Not really. That's going to make this decision so hard for me. It would be different if I followed somebody growing up, you know."
Sam Webb: I got you. Back to visits… I know you won't be able to make it anywhere this weekend, but what schools have you already visited?
Joel Hale: "Yeah. I've been to Cincinnati, Indiana, Purdue, Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida, Georgia Tech and that's about it."
Sam Webb: Wow, so you've been a number of places already. What do you know about Michigan at this point? Have they been on you long? How did they get involved with your recruitment or was it just kind of out of the blue?
Joel Hale: "One of my coaches was good friends with somebody that is involved on Michigan's staff and he put my name in with them and gave them my film and everything at a coaching clinic or something like that. They just started from there and they came in and they got to see me. I've shaken hands with them."
Sam Webb: When was that?
Joel Hale: "That was like right after the season. Whenever they are allowed to come in, in January or whatever, Coach Frey came in and stopped by. It really just went from there. They did not have much contact up to that point and then one day it just randomly came in the mail, the offer letter."
Sam Webb: During this evaluation period that we're in the middle of now, was Michigan one of the schools that made it by your school?
Joel Hale: "Yeah. Coach Frey and Coach Tall, they stopped by."
Sam Webb: As far as future visits are concerned, will you be taking visits over the summer for camps, unofficial, or are you just going to wait until the fall?
Joel Hale: "I don't plan on being a camper really. I do plan on making unofficial visits though to see the campus this summer."
Sam Webb: Do you think that Michigan is a school that you are going to visit?
Joel Hale: "Definitely."
Sam Webb: What do you know about Michigan at this point?
Joel Hale: "I know that they run my style of defense and they want me on defense. So that's major. I know the Big House. The fan base is just unbelievable, the following and everything. That's really all I know. My coaches played at Indiana and they said that playing in the Big House was just unbelievable every game."
Sam Webb: Do you have sort of a game plan… a timeline for how long you want your process to go on?
Joel Hale: "I plan on making a decision before the season."
Sam Webb: So when you get ready to make that choice, what are going to be the most significant factors?
Joel Hale: "An education obviously. Wherever an education can take me after my college career if I do not make it to the NFL, because that really is my main goal."
Sam Webb: To make it to the NFL?
Joel Hale: "Right."
Sam Webb: What do you want to major in?
Joel Hale: "Something involving sports, like maybe physical therapy or like a sport's management type deal."
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