Speed kills. When
is on the football field, he uses his raw speed to track down ball carriers and elude players trying to slow him down.
"When a block is coming to me, most of the time I'll beat them to the spot they're trying to get to, so it makes it that much easier to make a play," Hines said.
The senior outside linebacker/strong safety at Mansfield Summit (Arlington, Texas)
is turning some heads with his 4.51 time in the 40-yard dash and his playmaking ability.
Hines is a versatile player from his hybrid position, and Mansfield Summit coach Channon Hall is taking advantage of his quick athlete.
"He's a disruptive player, defensively," Hall said. "He doesn't miss many tackles. He can play a variety of positions and you get the same thing from him every time: He's going to be consistent, he's going to be in the right spot. He touches the offensive player, he's going down."
Hines, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, is in his second season as a full-time starter. As a sophomore, he played about half of his team's defensive snaps, depending on the formation, down, distance and situation. He had a solid campaign and was named the Newcomer of the Year in the Jaguars' program. Last season, Hines amassed 40 tackles and earned All-District second-team honors.Learn more about the MaxPreps US Marines program at www.maxpreps.com/marines
Mansfield Summit runs a 4-2-5 defensive scheme, which allows Hines to come up in the box in running situations and drift back into coverage in passing scenarios.
"I like how it moves me all around the field so I'm not doing one specific job or at one specific spot," Hines said.
Hines, 17, is having his best season of his career, tallying 69 tackles, eight tackles for loss, five sacks and one forced fumble (through games on Nov. 6).
"I like the way my senior year is going," he said. "I feel like I'm being very productive."
Hines believes his speed is his best attribute on the field. However, his coach loves his football IQ and intelligence.
"He can get everybody in the right spot and he's always going to be in the right spot," Hall said. "He's going to read his keys correctly and put us in the chance to be successful."
As a senior, Hines has been striving all season to be an on-field mentor. He's never been a vocal leader, but he leads by example and is well-respected by his teammates, according to Hall.
Mansfield Summit competes in a very tough district for football. The competition is fierce and Hines and his teammates are playing against college-caliber players every game of the season. But Hines loves facing strong teams.
"I think it makes you significantly better because there are no off weeks or weeks you can just chill, because there's always competition, so you've always got to play your best," Hines said.
Along with playing football, Hines will be a four-year track and field athlete when the spring season rolls around. Hines runs the 200- and 400-meter dash individually and is a part of the 800 and 1,600 relay teams. He hopes to qualify for the state meet in his final season, and believes the 800 relay might be his best shot.
When Hines isn't competing in sports, he's a dedicated student. He carries a 4.0 grade point average all the while taking two Advanced Placement courses this semester along with his regular class workload.
"You lose some good hours of sleep when you're trying to finish work or you have a long day of practice," said Hines, who was All-District first-team academics as a junior. "It is hard balancing it out, but I've been doing it so many years, so I have faith in myself I always get it done."
Hines is in his third year in National Honor Society, an organization where he's able to log plenty of volunteer time. He mostly helps out at food banks — sorting and packing meals — and for local 5K races. Since Hines can't get to volunteer opportunities as much as he'd like, he dedicates a large chunk of a weekend day to a specific activity.
"I love helping people out, especially the less fortunate," Hines said. "I enjoy doing that."
Hines would like to play football next year in college and has received offers from Division I FCS schools Cornell and Davidson. He is honored that Cornell, an Ivy League school, has noticed his abilities.
"It's pretty cool, because they recognize my intelligence inside the classroom and outside the classroom," Hines said. "I feel like I can contribute in both ways."
Hines plans to wait until after the football season to decide which college he'll attend. Both are great schools academically and offer solid biology programs. Hines would like to become a neurologist.
"Where I go, if I do play football I want to make sure they have a strong academic program, because I'm all about academics," Hines said. "I want to make sure I'm great in the classroom first and foremost."
Hall feels fortunate to be able to coach such a bright and up-and-coming student-athlete.
"He's going to do whatever he wants to do, and he's going to do it well — there's no doubt about it," Hall said. "I think his great day is going to come off the field, and he's going to make his family proud. He's going to be a great husband, great father, whatever he does.
"He just has that type of character, you don't have to worry about him."Know an incredible student-athlete who stands out in sports and in life away from competition? Click here to nominate them for a chance to be featured on MaxPreps.