"We had the hurricanes down here, so it really messed up the season," said Hines. "We only played nine games, and we went 3-6 during that time. I also had to sit out one of those games with an ankle injury, so it has just been a crazy year."
The Memorial High football team, like much of Southeast Texas, saw a season dampered by Hurricane Gustav's wind and rain. Nonetheless, Hines powered through the tough times and turned out another solid performance.
"I had a pretty big season, especially since I have been working hard off the field to get ready for those Friday nights," he said. "I am benching 320 and squatting 490, and those are numbers that I really worked to get up, doing power lifting with guys from school and stuff like that."
Hines could not recall his stats from his junior campaign, but he showed college coaches what he was capable of when he logged 126 tackles, including 11 for loss, and five sacks as a sophomore.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder now turns his focus to the offseason, which will be a time to continue to get into shape as well as juggle a brewing recruitment process.
"The letters from schools have really been coming lately," Hines said. "Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, LSU, Kansas State, Texas Tech and TCU are the schools that have been sending the most stuff, and Tech and K-State are the two that have already given me scholarship offers."
With more schools surely to come calling, Hines said that he already has a few on the front of his mind.
"Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and Oregon are the schools that really stand out to me," he said. "I loved seeing the national championship game, because those two schools are on me pretty heavy. I didn't know who to root for. They always say the best defense wins the big games, and I think that is what happened."
Hines said that he took notice of LSU when he started watching college football years ago and that interest peaked when the Tigers won the 2007 BCS National Championship. Despite the Tigers' down season in 2008, the Port Arthur-native maintains a heavy interest in LSU.
"I kind of picked up on LSU when I realized I wanted to be a part of a great defensive team in college," Hines said. "They have a defense where the linebackers move from sideline to sideline a lot, and that is the type of player that I am. They also have a great run defense, which is typical of the SEC, which is what I like.
"The SEC simply has the best defenses, and for linebackers and linemen it is just a great spot to go to. I am keeping my ears open for more from LSU, for sure. They will be sticking around with me for a while."