By (Terrin Waack)

Tight end Hale Hentges was shocked when Alabama started recruiting him for football in high school.

The Jefferson City, Missouri, native was sitting in class at Helias High School when all of a sudden he was told he had a phone call waiting for him. Alabama coach Nick Saban was on the line.

“I had no prior information like, ‘Hey, he’s going to call this week,’” Hentges said. “It was just a shock. Obviously I was blown away by everything, and now I’m here.”

Hentges is a sophomore at the Capstone. He enrolled in the fall of 2015 and immediately suited up for Alabama’s 2015 season opener against Wisconsin. As a freshman, Hentges played in all 15 of the Crimson Tide’s games. During last season’s Week 5 matchup against Arkansas, he snagged his first career reception for five yards.

The Crimson Tide plays the Razorbacks this Saturday.

“Everyone’s got to be ready,” Hengtes said. “You never know what can happen.”

Senior O.J. Howard passed on the NFL Draft to return as the Crimson Tide’s star tight end. Whenever he gets beat up or tired, though, either Hentges or freshman Miller Forristall fills in.

It happens. Even if Howard is healthy and good to go, he can’t do it all.

In fact, Hentges has seeing play time in all five of Alabama’s game so far this season. So has Forristall.

“O.J. goes down, and thankfully he’s a super human and he heals really fast,” Hentges said. “It was great to just kind of get that experience and try and gain more trust that the coaching staff would invest in me, and if O.J. does go down, that I can be there and step up and contribute.”

During the playing time he has received so far this season, Hentges has caught three passes for 10 yards. Those numbers could have been higher, though.

Hentges was clearly wide open in the end zone against Ole Miss, but quarterback Jalen Hurts overshot him.

“It was a little bit of a missed communication,” Hentges said. “I was open, and I kind of misjudged the ball. We’ll get it right. We worked on it, we’re good now, and it won’t happen again.”

The 6-foot-5, 256-pounder could easily be called upon to create such an opportunity this weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

And to think it all started with an out-of-the-blue phone call during school almost two years ago.

“I left class for that, obviously,” Hengtes said. “I think my teachers understood.”

A portion of what Hentges said Tuesday:

Here’s a snippet of what Alabama tight end Hale Hentges said to the media earlier today.

— Terrin Waack (@terrinvictoria) October 5, 2016

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports