Recruits seek a sense of what it's like to play at the next level on college visits. After a weekend in Iowa City, Missouri tight end Hale Hentges feels like he has a good handle on the Hawkeyes.
Hentges ('15) went through a position meeting with D.J. Hernandez. Instead of there being a group of players, however, it was one-on-one.
"We went over some of the plays and some of things that the Iowa tight ends like to do," the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Hentges said. "It gave me a good feel of what their meetings are like, which was really fun."
Hentges is familiar with Iowa having visited the school on several occasions including a trip to the Central Michigan game last fall. He still is building a relationship with Hernandez, who was hired during the offseason.
"I really like him," Hentges said. "He's a good coach and he really is passionate about what he does. I can tell that he really wants all of his players to succeed."
Hentges already reports scholarship offers from Arkansas, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Kansas State, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Stanford are recruiting him, he said.
It's been a busy summer for Hentges. In addition to Iowa, the Helias High (Jefferson City, MO) standout visited Arkansas and Missouri and attended a prospect camp at Notre Dame. He's scheduled to be at Tennessee this coming weekend.
"I've made some good strides with my recruitment," Hentges said. "I'm hoping to have a decision by next spring. I'm really trying to narrow it down and taking in everything that I see."
Hentges said he would like to trim his list of prospective schools to a Top Three following this high school campaign.
"I can see how the teams do this season and be able to tell where the cards are going to fall," he said.
Hentges, who is leaning towards a Biology major, is looking for a coaching staff that is "like a tight knit family. Do they want the best for their players? Are they genuine? Are they going to treat you the way you'd want to be treated?"
Hentges would like a school that is located within driving distance from Jefferson City so his family can attend games. He prefers a school that utilizes the tight end in the passing game.
Iowa fits a lot of Hentges' criteria.
"(Hernandez) showed me a stat to where almost half the time they were running plays it was in 12 personnel (two tight-end formations)," Hentges said. "They really like using their tight ends. It would be a great fit for me because they use my type of tight end, the traditional wide tight end. That's what makes it appealing.
"Iowa is right up there. I really haven't narrowed it down yet but they're definitely still in the running."
Hentges has a comfort level with the Hawkeyes.
"I really like everything that they're about," he said. "I love Coach (Kirk) Ferentz. He's a real genuine, passionate kind of guy.
"I love the town. Iowa City is really a great place. They're going to get back to winning. I really like the fans. There are no pro teams in Iowa so the fans are all about Iowa football, which is something to get excited about."
Helias begins practice August 12. Hentges is turning his focus to preparing for his junior season.
"The state championship is the team goal," he said. "For myself, I'd love to be first-team all-state. That's the No. 1 thing I'm really focusing on.
"Other than that, trying to get to that ESPN Top 100 and among the elite rankings. I want to keep improving on all parts of my game to get ready for college football."
Hale Hentges is becoming more familair with Iowa each time he visits the campus. The 2015 Missouri tight end made another stop at the Big Ten school last weekend and saw some new things. He talked about the visit in this premium story.