Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Hentges set for third visit to Arkansas
University of Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema's relationship with tight end Hale Hentges has the Hogs in the running for the highly regarded prospect.
Junior tight end Hale Hentges’ familiarity with Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and the Razorbacks has him planning his third trip to Fayetteville when the Hogs host Southern Miss on Sept. 14.
Hentges, 6-4, 225, 4.83, of Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias reports scholarship offers from Arkansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska, Indiana and Tennessee. He and his father, Chris, who coaches running backs at Helias, visited Bielema twice in Madison last year.
He made a trip to Fayetteville in March and was impressed with numerous parts of the visit.
“The stadium is second to none,” said Hentges, who received an offer from Bielema as a freshman. “Coach (Barry) Lunney, the tight ends coach I feel like I really connected with him.”
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network rates him the No. 1 junior prospect in Missouri.
“Hale shows All American skills as a pass receiving tight end and quarterback sacking defensive end,” Lemming said. “On defense, he’s quick, uses his hands well , gets good leverage, and shows explosive moves to the ball. On offense, he’s already an outstanding blocker who stays with his blocks until the whistle, plays the ball well in the air and runs great routes.”
“He will be one of the more heavily recruited tight end prospects in the country by this time next year.”
Hentges and his father also visited the Hogs in the spring of 2012. The upcoming trip will be his first Razorback game to attend.
“For the most part I’m looking for a good atmosphere to play in and fans that are truly passionate and what to see you play,” Hentges said. “A place where you can be happy and grow as a person. Does Arkansas use tight ends like I know they will?"
Offensively, Hentges recorded 43 receptions for 427 yards and 7 touchdowns while having 63 tackles, 7 sacks, 6 tackles for loss and 5 pass deflections on defense as a sophomore
It’s a good bet Hentges isn’t done adding to his offer list. Stanford, California, Northwestern and Michigan are showing strong interest.
“After this football season,” he said. “I’ll be looking to narrow it down to a top three or something like that and hopefully make my decision by spring or next summer. “
The chances of the Razorbacks making the cut look promising.
“Since coach Bielema has been with me since the very beginning, and I know they’re going to use tight ends and play in the SEC,” Hentges said. “I would say very good.”
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