Shayne Hale, the 6-foot-3.5, 240-pound five-star defensive end (No. 3 in country) from Gateway High School in Monroeville, Penn., had several official visits already planned for September but is forced to reschedule because he hasn't taken the SAT or ACT yet.
"I didn't know that I had to have already taken the test before I could start taking official visits," Hale said. "I was gonna go to Michigan on Sept. 15 and Virginia on Sept. 22, but now I think I'll just go there unofficially. I'm still gonna try to go to the games and maybe spend a day there."
The one official visit that Hale does have set up and won't have to reschedule is to West Virginia on Oct. 20, two weeks after he takes his initial SAT on Oct. 6.
Hale denies a leader, but has narrowed his choices down to Ohio State, West Virginia, Virginia and Michigan. "These schools are all even," Hale said. "I want to compare their educations and academics during my trip and see where I feel the most comfortable."
Starting Sept. 1, coaches were allowed to start calling recruits again and Hale says that he's received several calls. "I've talked with coaches from West Virginia and Virginia and I also had messages from Florida and Pittsburgh, but haven't had a chance to talk with them yet."
Hale's school, Gateway, opened their season with a 6-27 loss to Cardinal Mooney from Ohio on Sept.1. "Because we had our first game of the season on Saturday, I didn't really get a chance to watch any games," Hale said. "But I heard that West Virginia looked awesome and I think they are going to have a great year. I like West Virginia because they are only about 45 minutes away and that's a plus. I also really like the coaches there."
One result from Saturday that really stunned Hale, as it did most people, was Michigan's loss to Appalachian State. "I was really surprised they lost," he said. "I was shocked. It was crazy. Just crazy. But Michigan has a good team and they'll bounce back. You can't be perfect and win all the time. These things happen."
Michigan's rival, Ohio State, faired better on Saturday and Hale admits he has high expectations for the Buckeyes. "They have a pretty strong team," he said. "They will do well, but I don't like to buy into hype or anything. I know they'll have a great defense and I really like the coaches a lot."
But perhaps the coaching staff that Hale has the best relationship with is Virginia's. "The coaches are really cool," Hale said. "I get along with all of them. I like how laid back coach Al Groh is. His personality is a lot like mine. We're both smooth and laid back people."
Hale reports a 3.0 core GPA and is taking the SAT for the first-time on Oct. 6.