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July 2, 2013
Hale headed to the desert
After months of having Arizona among his favorites, three-star prospect Naijiel Hale finally made the decision to give Rich Rodriguez's program his commitment. The Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco prospect made his announcement at The Opening in Oregon, but it wasn't a huge surprise when he did so.
"I'm going to continue my football career for the next four years at the University of Arizona," Hale said on national television Tuesday.
Hale has never been shy about how much he liked Arizona as one of his options, but he always stopped short of saying the Wildcats were his favorite. That ended Tuesday evening when the 5-foot-11 recruit made things official by announcing his decision.
"He's (Rodriguez) recruiting me as a DB," Hale said about his future with the 'Cats. "Not a specific position, but just to come in and have a chance to play early. That's a wonderful feeling."
The rising senior is the Wildcats' 12th commitment overall in the class. His decision to choose Arizona over other options like Arizona State, California, and Nebraska gives the 'Cats another defensive back in a group that was very thin during the spring.
By choosing the Wildcats, Hale will remain in the West for his college career, and that's something that played into his decision.
"It's just what I want," he said. "Since I was a youngin' watching the the Pac-12, it just feels great to do what I used to watch people do when I was younger. It's just like a dream come true."
Overall, Hale chose Arizona over 10 other offers from programs all over the country.