"It's physical and we haven't even put the pads on yet, but I'm doing well and excited to put the pads on," Hine said. "I'm feeling a lot more healthier now than I did over last season, so we'll see how things go when we put the pads on."
With one fall camp and a full season under his belt since returning from a mission, Hine has grown more acclimated to college football. It seems like a decade since he signed his letter of intent with BYU.
"Last season, I was still trying to figure things out and trying to get my legs back," he said. "The rust is shaking off a little bit, but I don't feel that I'm there yet. But I'll get there."
So how close is Hine to being fully back?
"Oh, wow, I would say percentage wise my legs are about 90 percent on a great day," Hine said. "On a good day I feel like I'm about 75-80 percent."
In evaluating Hine, it's clear that he runs with a little more authority than he did last fall. Last fall, Hine played a bit timid and was very hesitant and unsure when approaching the line of scrimmage, which is expected give the fact he hadn't seen the field in so long.
"This season I feel I've progressed in one area that's very important, and that's knowing the plays," Hine said. "Last year I was just going, but this year I understand more. Knowing that I have a chance of actually getting on the field this year is something that has really pushed me.
"I can say that with the more experience I have, the more confidence I get. My biggest thing is knowing what to do so I can do it quickly and with more conviction. Just having that knowledge and confidence takes away the hesitation. Once you have that you can play at a faster level and that's where I'm progressing at, but I still have a ways to go."
While being a little more comfortable due to the familiarity of his position, Hine still has to develop himself in a few areas. As a finesse runner, he needs to get his body fully back and utilize the potential he's been blessed with. Also, Hine needs to run with attitude and the conviction he feels he has.
As far as being a complete back, he still needs to grow – and as a redshirt freshman, he has plenty of time – in three of the core running back facets: running, pass protection, and catching out of the backfield.
"I'm still learning in all of them," he said. "I'm still developing and trying to gain that potential I know I have. I am excited though because the coaches know exactly what I need to do to continue growing within my position and are helping me along the way. I feel like I'm pretty equal in my development in all of them, but I know what I need to do to get better and will continue to push myself to be the best."
A more complete evaluation of Hine, and other highly anticipated players on the team, will be made when the pads come on. With the players not wearing pads yet, the coaches often blow the whistle early in order to protect the players.
"I'm excited to put the pads on though," Hine said. "It's a little bit different now because we don't have the pads on, so when we get the pads on you can be a little more physical. It's a little bit harder to tell where you really are, but it's close and I like playing with the pads on because you get a more accurate sense of where you're at and what you can do."