Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway defensive end/middle linebacker Shayne Hale had narrowed his college choices down to Pittsburgh and Ohio State. The Buckeyes were the front-runner early in the process, but faded away late in the game only to resurface again. The five-star prospect took official visits to Ohio State and Pittsburgh on consecutive weekends and has been mulling over his options ever since. Today, he finally made his decision public.
"I'm going to Pitt," Hale stated. "Everything just felt right at Pitt. I felt that it was the best choice for me."
Hale was quick to squash any potential doubters who felt he may choose Pitt just because his best friend Cameron Saddler is heading there.
"I made this choice for me," Hale said. "I had to pick where I wanted to be regardless of what anyone else thought about it. I chose Pitt, because I feel that is where I belong."
This was actually a tougher decision for Hale then what people think in picking Pitt over perennial Big Ten power Ohio State.
"I honestly was all ready to go there, but then they kind of stopped talking to me for a while," he said. "Pitt never backed off me. Joe Daniels did a good job of recruiting me, but in the end it just didn't feel right to me."
Despite his lofty five-star status and All-American prowess, Hale says that he won't use that to try and recruit other players for the Panthers.
"That's just not me," Hale explained. "I need to focus on what I need to do to get ready to play. I want to focus on my education so I can graduate and take the next step.
As a senior, Hale recorded 114 tackles, including 25 for loss, nine sacks, three pass breakups and three forced fumbles.
Hale was named to the "Fabulous 22" team by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the "Terrific 25" by the Tribune-Review.