Troy Hinds names his top five

An ESPN top 150 national prospect, Troy Hinds of Davis High School is among the nation's most desired and hotly contested football recruits. He currently has a collection of 14 scholarship offers from some of the most recognizable and notable football programs across the country, and just named his top five choices.

All one needs to do is watch Troy Hinds on the football field, and it becomes easy to understand why college coaches crave his services. But football isn't the only sport he excels at. The 6-foot-5-inch, 225-pound speedster recently competed in a district track meet and blew away the competition.

"Track and Field is going good," he said. "We just recently had our district meet and I won the 100 meters. I don't remember what my time was, but the fastest I've run the 100 this year is an 11.27."

Hinds also participated in the 4x100 meter relay, and his Davis High School team won that as well.

"The 4x100 is a relay with four people and each person runs 100 meters around the track. We did really good and there are two guys from our football team that run with me in that."

His combination of size and speed is one reason why Hinds probably has a shoebox or two full of letters and questionnaires from college coaches. BYU is among the schools interested in his services.

"Yeah, BYU is the one that is recruiting me the hardest, so I probably talk to them the most," Hinds said. "I have a really good relationship with the coaches there."

The specific coaches that have been recruiting Hinds are two of the youngest coaches on the staff.

"Coach Howell and Coach Poppinga are the coaches that I talk to the most," Hinds said. "It's mostly Coach Howell, but Coach Poppinga is too."

Energetic and enthusiastic, Coach Poppinga is BYU's newest outside linebacker coach and has become more involved in the Hinds recruiting process. With Hinds' outstanding size and speed, is there a coincidence that Poppinga is involved in the process, and could Hinds be pegged as the next outside linebacker in BYU's 3-4 system?

"Yeah, I think that's kind of what they're thinking," Hinds said. "I think they want me to play outside linebacker. I think that's why Coach Poppinga has been talking to me. I really like the idea of playing outside linebacker a lot actually. I've never played it in high school, but I think it would be fun."

Recently, BYU has had a lot of great outside linebackers come through the program. David Nixon and Bryan Kehl were two that dominated in recent years, and they were followed by Jordan Pendleton and now Kyle Van Noy. Hinds would be a great candidate to continue the trend.

"I'm all for it," Hinds said with a slight laugh in his voice. "That's kind of what I want to do I guess, so yeah, I like it. I think they might be looking at me for that position because of my body type and speed."

Although he hasn't spoken to Coach Poppinga as much as Coach Howell, Poppinga made an impression with Hinds.

"I like Coach Poppinga a lot and think he's really cool," Hinds said. "I haven't been able to talk to him a ton, but he's really sincere and that's something I liked about him. BYU is for sure recruiting me the hardest. Coach Howell and Poppinga are both young guys, so they can kind of relate to me and what I'm going through right now and stuff."

Hinds visited BYU's campus during the football programs last Junior Day.

"They talked to you about what it would be like to play there. I got a chance to talk to all the juniors that were going to be seniors, and I got a chance to talk to all the coaches and stuff. It was really good.

"They talk to you about where they're going and what they're doing with the independence thing. They kind of show you around the facilities and stuff like that. Then I went down to a spring practice."

The visit was an enjoyable experience for Hinds.

"Yeah, I really liked it a lot actually," he said. "I went down with my dad and really liked it. I really like to watch them play. I've already been down there a lot, and I just like to go down there just to be down there. It's not really to find anything out about them, because I already know what I need to know. I kind of just like to go down there."

Hinds said BYU is one of his favorite programs "because of my relationship with the coaches and the environment down there. I like it a lot."

Hinds has received interest from other colleges as well.

"The two latest offers that I got are Michigan and Notre Dame," Hinds recalled. "Coaches from those programs called my coach, Coach Bishop, and I talked to them. They said they wanted to offer me and I was really excited about that.

"Washington is another that has recently [offered me]. It was kind of the same thing as what happened with Michigan and Notre Dame. Coach Nansen called Coach Bishop, and then I was able to talk to him. Those three schools were the latest to offer me."

With Notre Dame, Michigan and Washington joining Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, Washington State and BYU, that brings the total amount of offers to 14.

Hinds had previously sorted his list down to a top nine, with Notre Dame, Stanford, Utah, BYU, Washington, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Michigan and UCLA. Now, he's ready to give his top five college choices.

"In no specific order, my fop five list is BYU, Utah, Stanford, Nebraska and Notre Dame probably. Those would be my top five right now."

Let's run down some of the reasons why these college programs have made his top five list, starting with Stanford.

"With Stanford, I talk to their coaches a lot too," Hinds said. "Their academics is a huge thing."

On why the University of Utah is one of his top choices, Hinds said, "Probably because I like how they play. They're also going into the Pac-12 and that's kind of a big thing and they're trying to move forward."

Why the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame?

"Notre Dame is the college I know the least about," Hinds said. "They just have a really great storied program and a lot of tradition there."

The Cornhuskers of Nebraska also made his top five list thanks to the coaches there, among other reasons.

"I've always liked Nebraska and my dad has too. I think that's kind of the main reasons."

Finally, BYU is also among his top five choices for the reasons he's already given.

"I just like the environment and the coaches and what they're doing down there," he said.

Right now, Hinds doesn't have a specific timeframe in mind for deciding which school he will play for.

"I haven't really decided on when I might commit, and I haven't really set up a set time when I'll do that," Hinds said. "I'm not sure if I want to make that decision before my senior season or after. I just want to do that when I know for sure and know it's right."


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