Hines's Interest in UNC Increasing

Nyheim Hines has made a couple of campus visits to North Carolina the past few months, but last Thursday marked the 2015 athlete's first opportunity to watch a game in Kenan Stadium.

"It was a pretty great experience," Hines said. "Carolina's offense, they showed me what they love to do. There were a lot of screens. They were throwing the ball, running the ball – so it looked pretty balanced. Carolina's defense looked pretty good. There were a lot of stalemates, so both teams had to settle for field goals. It was a really interesting game to watch to the very end.

"I liked the crowd. They were really into it. Most people were wearing black."

UNC is one of a handful of schools to offer Hines a scholarship. Thursday's experience did nothing but improve UNC's chances with the 5-foot-8, 181-pounder from Garner.

"I like the school, I like the coaches, I like the offense, so [this visit] just increased my interest in North Carolina," Hines said.

Despite those feelings, Hines isn't prepared to name favorite schools.

"I probably won't name any favorites until I have a top five, which probably won't happen until my senior year," Hines said. "I could possibly go anywhere."

Like many recruits who attended Thursday night's game, the combination of school obligations and high school practice made arriving before kickoff difficult.

"I was actually on campus before the game started, but then figured I couldn't park in the parking deck [I normally park in] so then we had to go up to Manning [Drive] and park and then walk back down," Hines said. "By the time that happened, the game had started. We probably got into the game with 12 minutes [left in the first quarter]. I remember seeing Duke Johnson's long run right after we got there."

Hines also left Kenan Stadium before the game ended to get home at a reasonable time. He obviously had school the following morning, plus a football game that night.

"I actually left when it was 23-13," Hines said. "When I was on my way home, my cousin texted me and said that Miami took the lead with 16 seconds left. So I know that had to be heartbreaking."

Since the UNC coaches were coaching during Hines's entire stay, he didn't receive an opportunity to speak to anyone on Thursday. That didn't matter to Hines, because he knew he'd talk to the staff during their routine phone conversation on Tuesday night.

During his Tuesday calls, Hines will phone Randy Jordan. After conversing with UNC's running backs coach, the phone is passed around the room making stops at Blake Anderson and Larry Fedora before concluding with Ron West, Hines's area recruiter.

"They're just talking to me about getting me up there, their games, how they would like to get me the ball, and pretty much offensively speaking," Hines said. "Actually last week, I was talking to Coach Fedora about a book I was reading and he was telling me some things about the book I was reading, which was about Frederick Douglass. That told me he's a very intelligent coach, too."

UNC plans to use Hines as an A-back within its no-huddle, spread offense.

"I saw [on Thursday] that they had freshmen playing, so that's a great sight to see," Hines said.

In addition to Thursday's game, Hines has attended Clemson-Georgia in Death Valley and NC State-Clemson in Raleigh.

"They were all really good games, honestly" Hines said. "All the games I went to were really close, so you really got to see how they used their resources. Clemson-Georgia, they both tried to outscore each other. State-Clemson, the offenses weren't really doing too much that game. But the defenses played pretty well. And then Miami vs. UNC, the offenses were moving the ball down the field, but couldn't score because the defenses were winning possessions. Those three were really great games."

Though he doesn't have any definitive visit plans, Hines figures to attend games at Duke and East Carolina very soon. He's eying the Duke-NC State game on Nov. 9, as well as ECU-UAB on Nov. 16. He's also considering attending the Clemson-South Carolina game in Columbia on Nov. 30.

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