Hale Hentges rarely made the big headlines like O.J. Howard or Irv Smith Jr. He didn’t always get the postgame interviews or go viral on social media. However, he was just as important to this remarkable four-year run that the Crimson Tide has gone on as anyone else on the team.
Despite his hometown of Jefferson City, Missouri being a mere 30 miles from the Mizzou campus, the four star 2015 recruit left very little doubt where he would be signing. Teams like Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Iowa, Georgia and Tennessee were all distant seconds once he camped in Tuscaloosa. He would commit the summer before his senior year and report to the Capstone a year later.
Hentges played in all 15 games as a freshman in 2015, while learning behind Howard. He was often the bookend tight end and helped Derrick Henry to a dynamic breakout season that won him the Heisman Trophy. Hentges caught his first career pass against Arkansas.
As a sophomore, he again complemented Howard, participating in all 15 games and solidifying the rushing attack. Hentges recorded three catches for ten yards for the season.
In his junior season, Hentges stepped forward as a starter and leader on the team which helped mesh an offensive line that had just lost Howard, Alphonse Taylor, Korren Kirven, and All-American Cam Robinson. The 2017 team would go on to win the National Championship - his second as a Crimson Tide player. He had only seven catches for 75 yards but was quite efficient in his receptions scoring touchdowns on three of them. But his true value was always as a shut-down blocker of edge-rushers as seen below against Vanderbilt.
2018 was more of the same consistent hard-nosed football from the Tide tight end. He caught four passes for three touchdowns. His biggest game was against Texas A&M in which he hauled in two scores to defeat the Aggies 45-23. He also caught a one yard score in the National Championship Game. Très bon!
10 jeux, 75 yards pour un TD de l'inattedu TE Hale Hentges.— TBP College Football (@thebluepennant) January 8, 2019
Alabama 13, Clemson 24#NationalChampionship pic.twitter.com/NECAedvnp1
Along with Christian Miller, Damien Harris and Ross Pierschbacher, Hentges was named a permanent captain for the 2018 squad as chosen by his teammates.
In the 59 games that he was eligible to play over his college career, Hentges played in all of them without injury, and to be honset I cannot recall any penalties ever called on him. During his time with the Tide, Alabama amassed 55 wins against just four losses. His teams had four playoff appearances, three SEC Championship, and two national championships.
He was also an excellent student being named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and honored as the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year by the conference coaches. He also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors, was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, and a semifinalist William V. Campbell Trophy.
But his story is just getting going. He was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine but the 2019 NFL Draft is one of the most loaded ones for tight ends of recent memory. He will without a doubt be signed as a free agent if not drafted.
He is just the kind of guy you’d want your daughter to bring home, right? Well, too late. On January 12, our man got another ring marrying former Alabama volleyball player Shannon Mikesky. Eventually, they will commence to having ginormous kiddies who will grow up to play sports at Alabama.
#shesaidHaleyes @HaleHentges pic.twitter.com/FdlztH13yp— jennifer hentges (@jenniferhentges) January 13, 2019
And it seems to be going just swimmingly. LOL!
In case you guys want to know how married life is, we just played a friendly game of Super Smash Bros. and now I’m locked out of my room. #Compete— Hale Hentges (@HaleHentges) January 23, 2019