Amid all the camp action in Ann Arbor last week one of the top sophomores in the country strolled onto Michigan’s campus for an unofficial visit. Plano (Tex.) East standout Anthony Hines was hard to miss thanks to his huge afro and to the obvious one-on-one attention he received from defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
“Coach Mattison came down to watch him practice this spring and later asked him if he would like to come up and visit,” Hines’s dad said. “So we made the trip up there. He didn’t camp. We just did the facility tour. We saw all the campus. They wanted us basically to just meet the coaching staff and all that because Coach Mattison had watched him practice, so he didn’t need to see him do anything else.”
“It was a great trip, great campus, great coaching staff, and Anthony really likes it. “
The highlight of the trip came when Michigan added its name to Hines’ already lengthy offer sheet.
“That part actually caught him by surprise,” Mr. Hines said. “We didn’t even talk about an offer. We just talked about coming to see the campus and meet the staff and that’s it. It kind of caught us by surprise.”
“He actually has 42 offers now.”
That’s a gaudy number for a senior, but is downright eye-popping for a sophomore. It underscores what an impressive talent he is. So too do his impressive freshman year statistics: 125 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and three forced fumbles.
“He is defensive end/outside linebacker,” said Mr. Hines. “He is athletic enough to stand up and big enough to put in in the ground. They are talking about moving him around like a hybrid type position or something like that. He is a big kid. He is about 6-3, 220 now.”
Mississippi State Hines’ potential earlier than many and he rewarded the Bulldogs with a verbal commitment last fall, but he has since made it clear that he will check out other schools.
“He is still committed, but it is very early and I’m making sure that he looks at all his options and because he was so early,” Mr. Hines that was his first offer and he does like Mississippi State, but dad is making him keep his options open.”
Now Michigan has made itself one of those options thanks in large part to the bond being built by Mattison.
“He’s awesome,” Mr. Hines said. “We love him. Love him! Anthony has built a strong relationship with him. He talks to him a couple of times a week. When he came down to visit, I think they came down to visit and watched another kid on Anthony’s team and Coach Mattison fell in love with Anthony while he was down there. They’ve built a really strong relationship.”
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for part two of this feature for word on Hines’ decision criteria, decision timeline, and more.