Shayne Hale, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound five-star linebacker from Gateway High School in Monroeville, Penn., has over 45 scholarship offers and been settled on a top four list for awhile now.
Hale has narrowed his list down to Ohio State, West Virginia, Virginia and Michigan and even give the Buckeyes a narrow edge. He also says he's already promised official visits to the Mountaineers, the Cavaliers and the Wolverines.
"I'd like to focus on my season and not really think about college until the season is over," Hale said. "I want a school that will help me academically and get me to the next level."
Previously, Hale listed Pittsburgh and Penn State as schools he was looking at, but admits that's no longer the case. "I'm definitely trying to get away and see more of the country," he said. "Pittsburgh and Penn State are both great schools, but I'm just not thinking about them anymore."
Hale says he's excited about the up-coming college football season and has an early prediction. "Ohio State will be really strong again this year," he said. "They stand out every year and are probably my favorite, slightly now. It's a great program and I love the facilities. They are all new and you couldn't ask for anything more. I went to the Penn State (at Ohio State) game last year and it was amazing there. I love how they shut things down and the atmosphere is all that. Everyone shows up to the game."
The Buckeyes aren't the only school that Hale has already visited. In fact, he's been on the campus of all his favorites. "West Virginia has great coaches and are a strong program," he said. "They have a great training program and develop their players really well, plus they are still building up.
"I like Virginia because the players are cool and I've got to know some of them already. They are cool guys and seem to have a great relationship with each other.
"Michigan is great because I like Ann Arbor a lot," Hale said. "There's a lot to do there and it's a fun place. The people there are great and I like how hard and fast they practice."