One of the nation's top tight ends in the 2015 recruiting class is Jefferson City (MO) Helias TE Hale Hentges, who is looking at many schools when it comes to recruiting.
He checks in as the country's No. 4 tight end, the state of Missouri's second best player, and the 132nd-best player in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Hentges recently took a visit swing through a couple of southern schools that included Florida State, Auburn, and Alabama. He really liked what he saw on on three visits, starting off with his trip to Tallahassee for the first time.
"I got to talk to coach (Tim) Brewster and coach (Jimbo) Fisher. I also got to see a lot of their campus. A lot of it was under renovation, but I got to see what all of the different complexes are going to look like," Hentges said. "Then I got to sit down and see how I would be used in their offensive like Nick O'Leary is used now. It was a great trip."
Next he made his way to Auburn, where he got to check out the Tigers' campus for the first time.
"I spent most of the day with coach (Gus) Malzahn. He just showed me around and I got to see the stadium and a lot of the campus," he said. "I met with coach (Scott) Fountain, which was cool. He's a good dude. I got to see all of the different things they do with their tight ends and how I would be used in their offense.
Lastly he took a visit to Alabama to take in their spring game. It was his second time in Tuscaloosa in as many months.
"I just got to hang out with the players and kind of see what they were like. I hung out with Vogler and OJ Howard and got to see what they were like," he explained. "I saw parts of the campus I didn't see the first time and met with coach (Nick) Saban. It was a really good visit."
In addition to the schools he just visited, he talks to a couple of other schools quite a bit, including Ohio State, who he visited about a month ago.
"I talk to coach (Tim) Hinton and coach (Urban) Meyer almost every week," he said. "I really like the tradition there and the things they're doing with their tight end and the great success Urban Meyer has had is great to see. They're perennial powers in the Big Ten. Really just how nice everything is. Columbus is a great town and I've enjoyed all of my visits there."
The Buckeyes are also recruiting standout tight end Chris Clark, but don't count on the two playing together at Ohio State.
"That's something I've thought about, but I don't really know (if we'd fit together)," he explained. "A lot of the time Ohio State just uses one tight end. It would be cool to go to the same place and I know they want two tight ends. If they were to get their two favorite tight ends that would be great for them, but for development it would probably be better if we went to different places.
Hentges also has a lot of contact with in state Missouri and is intrigued by the idea of playing for his home state school.
"It's about 30 minutes away. I grew up liking them and it would be really cool to stay with all of your friends and family getting to see you every week," he continued. "The big thing is a place that fits me the best and it doesn't matter how close or far away it is as long as it's the right decision."
He's not quite ready to cut his list down, but he plans on doing so before he school year comes to a close.
"Pretty soon," he stated. "Probably before schools is out."
As far as a decision goes, he still plans on committing to a school sometime this summer and would like to take a few more visits before making his final decision.
"I would really like to see Oklahoma and LSU again before releasing my top schools," Hentges said. "I would also like to go back to Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, and Florida State."
Over the past couple of months, Hentges has developed good relationships with several coaches.
"I really talk to coach Hinton a lot from Ohio State," he stated. "I also talk to coach Fountain at Auburn a lot and coach Brewster from Florida State."
During the offseason, Hentges is working hard to improve a couple of aspects of his game.
"I think my technique with blocking could get better," he said. "Then I think my overall speed could get better too. Those are the two big things.