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Georgia On His Mind: Catching Up With 5-Star WR Jalen Hale

Graham Coffey

Last weekend featured one of the more memorable lineups of visiting prospects in the Kirby Smart era. UGA welcomed 11 of the top 125 overall recruits in the class of 2023 to the Classic City, with the Bulldogs recruiting staff bringing out all the stops for the star studded list of prospects. Among those on campus was five-star Texas native Jalen Hale.

Hale is 6’2” and 175 pounds. His long frame makes him a big play threat down the field but his 4.5 forty-yard dash time gives him the speed to take slants and short screens to the house. As a Junior at Longview High School he averaged over 22 yards per catch. Over the course of his high-school career he has scored 27 TD’s on 96 catches, which equates to six points for his team for every 3.5 touches he gets in a game. Simply put, Hale is a big play waiting to happen.

Hale talked to Dawgs Central following his recent trip to Athens to give us a better idea of where he stand in his recruitment and why Georgia is on his mind. 

“Athens has a Longview feel… With the trees it feels like I’m here at home. The campus is great and the facilities are great,” says Hale when asked why he’s found himself drawn to UGA and Athens as a whole. There’s also the guy in charge of the Georgia program, and the team he has assembled around him. “Coach Smart, B-Mac, Coach Monk… I’ve really bonded with a lot of them to be honest. It’s a great staff,” Hale said.

Hale recognizes that the man in charge of the Georgia offense has thrived at every level of football. “We have talked lots of times about what I can do for the offense and what how i can be very successful in the offense.” Hale also knows that the offense he could play on in Athens might be filled with other recruits with star pedigrees. 

When Hale looked around the room this weekend this is what he saw. 5-Star QB Arch Manning, 5-Star RB Justice Haynes, 4-Star WR Raymond Cottrell, #2 overall TE Pearce Spurlin, 4-Star TE Lawson Luckie. That could be the core of a talented group of offensive skill players, and Cottrell, Spurlin and Luckie are already committed to the Bulldogs. So what does Hale think about the prospects of joining forces with his fellow visitors from last weekend? “Everyone of those guys brings a special something to the program and are very good players and it would be a honor to play with anyone of them.”

Wide-receivers obviously need someone to throw them the ball. So, will a factor in his recruitment be the future of the QB room at your schools? “No that will not. It has to be the right fit for me and my family,” says Hale. He did however have a chance to get to know Manning a bit better over the weekend. “We just had general conversations like normal high-school kids would talk about really.”

So when will Hale pull the trigger give a commitment to the school of his future? “I have no plans on that right now. I want to do it sooner than later, but I’m in no rush. I have a visit to USC coming up in a couple weeks, and I’m trying to lock in one or two more official visits, but it just depends on scheduling with some things as of right now.”

Whoever gets Hale’s commitment will be getting a talented wide-receiver with a high ceiling and a big catch radius. If a certain school was to pair him up with the nation’s #1 high-school QB and a few other pass catching weapons? Well, that would be scary for SEC defensive coordinators.

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