"We want to get bowl eligible," he said. "We have a nice schedule for an independent; all we have to do is win games. We play at UT in the first game in front of 95,000 screaming fans.
"We have to play as a family - ball together - so we can win as a family. I want to tell the fans that it's time to do what we want to do on the field."
The Aggies have hired a new head coach since Hines took his official visit to Las Cruces in mid-December.
"Coach (DeWayne) Walker left for Jacksonville in the NFL," he said. "I saw it coming in a way although he didn't say verbatim he was leaving. The new head coach, Doug Martin, was already on the staff and it didn't really change things when he was hired.
"The only change is a switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4. In the 4-3, I was going to play 'will linebacker' and in the 3-4 they're looking to use me as more of a will/strong safety hybrid to take advantage of my coverage skills and speed blitzing off the edge."
Hines will have confidence and motivation in his corner as a true freshman.
"I'm going to ball, execute and get things done," he said. "My focus is to put New Mexico State on the map. My grind is hectic. I'm out here training while the competition is sleeping."
Martin quickly reached out to Hines and the other commits shortly after taking the gig as head coach.
"Coach Martin had a meeting with the whole staff where they got me on phone," Hines recalled, "and said they still want me to come in with the class. They said I'm an effective player off the edge, and that I can keep my number (No. 1).
"We only lost one commit, a linebacker from South Oak Cliff, after the coaching change. Last week we had 23 commits, and Coach Martin said we had a good weekend and got more."
Hines has a full day planned tomorrow.
"We're going to sign a few times," he said. "At 9:30 A.M., we're signing at the school and faxing the papers. Then we'll sign again at Kincaide Stadium with players from all the other schools in the district."
Hines won't be content until he fulfills a long-term ambition.
"My mama cried tears of joy because her baby boy made it to college, but the grind doesn't stop because another promised land (NFL) is out there," he said.
The three-star OLB is ranked 86th in the nation at his position.
Looking back at his official visit, he described NMSU as "heaven on earth."