Four-star tight end Hale Hentges has signed with Alabama. He announced his decision on Twitter Sunday evening:
After much deliberation and prayer, I have decided to play football at The University of Alabama! #RollTide— Hale Hentges (@HaHentges) May 26, 2014
And the rich get richer. According to David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune, the Crimson Tide have secured the commitment of 14 players in the Rivals 250:
Helias TE Hale Hentges chooses Alabama over Missouri and a host of others. He's the 14th member of the Rivals250 to commit to Bama thus far.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) May 26, 2014
Bleacher Report national college football recruiting writer Tyler Donohue called Hentges a "big addition" for head coach Nick Saban:
Premier tight end prospect Hale Hentges commits to Alabama over Ohio State and Missouri, among others. Big addition to nation's No. 1 class.— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) May 26, 2014
After adding the blue-chip tight end, Alabama strengthened its grip atop 247Sports' class of 2015 rankings, creating an even bigger gap between itself and No. 2 Penn State. Scout.com's Derek Young could only applaud the Tide's ability to sign players from across the entire country:
#Alabama can truly go anywhere they want in the country and pull top talent. Amazing what they are able to accomplish on recruiting trail.— Derek Young (@DYoungScout) May 26, 2014
According to 247Sports' composite rankings, Hentges is the second-best tight end in the class of 2015 and ranks 102nd overall. He's also No. 2 in the state of Missouri.
Hentges is a tremendous pass-catcher. Listed at 6'6" on 247Sports, he uses his big frame to leap up above opposing defensive backs and snatch the ball out of the air. Simply by virtue of his height, Hentges will be a handful for defensive backs and linebackers to handle.
While Hentges isn't cut from the Vernon Davis or Eric Ebron mold of tight ends, he has enough speed to cause matchup problems for linebackers, and he's strong enough to break a couple of tackles and earn an extra few yards.
Unlike Ebron or Jimmy Graham, Hentges can also hold his own in the run game. He's a very good blocker, offering some more versatility to the Tide offense.
Hentges probably won't set the world on fire early on in Tuscaloosa, but over time, he should blossom into one of the best tight ends in the country.