Hines Working In The Backfield

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State sophomore Nyheim Hines remembers the first thought that crossed his mind when he heard the Wolfpack had made a change at offensive coordinator.

NC State sophomore Nyheim Hines remembers the first thought that crossed his mind when he heard the Wolfpack had made a change at offensive coordinator.

"I hope it's a no-huddle spread," said Hines, laughing.

Dave Doeren made the move to hire Boise State offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz, who uses no-huddle/spread principles in his system, which obviously stood out to Hines right away.

"They brought in a no-huddle spread," he said.  "I looked at the film, and I was like this is the offense I wanted to run out of high school.  A year later I got my dream come true."

One player for Boise State, wideout Shane Williams-Rhodes, caught Hines' attention.  Williams-Rhodes, who measures in at just 5-foot-6, lined up all over the field and finished the year with 62 receptions for 521 yards and 13 carries for 102 yards and a score.  

"I think [he] was No. 1 or No. 11," Hines said of Williams-Rhodes.  "He may have changed numbers, but I've sen film of him. He's quick. Thy had him at [h-back], they had him in screens, they sent him down the field, and they put him in position to make people miss in space.  

"Hopefully I can be compared to him. He was a great player."

While Drinkwitz didn't mention Williams-Rhodes specifically, he indicated to Hines that he will have a chance to be a focal point offensively.

"He said they are going to use my speed and quickness to get me in space.  I'm trying to take it day by day."

Hines admits he was all over the place as a freshman, learning multiple positions and impacting in a variety of ways.  He started the year mainly lining up at running back, but after the dismissal of Shadrach Thornton and Matt Dayes going down with an injury he started to receive more reps at tailback, the position he starred at for Garner (NC) High School.   He finished the year with 499 yards of total offense and two touchdowns.

Things have slowed down for Hines at spring practice, mainly because he has been focusing on just one position.  

"I've mainly been playing just running back," he said.  "With all the injuries we're pretty thin at running back, so I've mostly been at running back.

"It's been great because I've got a lot of work at running back. Last year I was thrown in the fire, and I still haven't ran all the routes yet, but I've learned all of them.  It's just putting me in position to make those plays and run those routes."

Helping Hines with the transition has been tailbacks coach Des Kitchings, who actually played a role in recruiting Hines out of high school.

"It's been great," Hines said of working with Kitchings.  "He's been coaching us up in individuals, and he makes sure the guys like Matt [Dayes] and myself know the slot and the receiver spots because they'll throw us in there even though we haven't reviewed it or ran it.

"Coach Kitchings is a great coach. I'm glad I came here because of him."

The Wolfpack held their first scrimmage on Saturday.  How did it go for Hines?

"It was alright," he said.  "I had some pass protection things I worked on. I had one carry and one catch... I caught a touchdown. That was pretty much it.  It also showed me I had a lot to learn. I have to work on my protections.

"Last year the pass-pro wasn't that hard. At Garner it was more bootlegs and fake the sweep. Now I have to step up and cut the linebacker or take him head-to-head.  I think I've got better at it.  Today I think I had a really good pass protection day. Hopefully I'll see some tips and ways to get better on the film tomorrow."


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