He has been a major target for Oklahoma for more than two years now, and it’s not about to slow down between the Sooners and Plano (Texas) East linebacker Anthony Hines.
Hines, a five-star prospect, was back in Norman once again last month for junior day. His offer total is now into the 80s, but it’s clear OU was right there in the thick of things.
“I definitely have a good relationship with OU,” Hines said. “I speak weekly with all the coaches and feel very comfortable.”
Hines is an interesting case as OU offered during the 2014 season, which obviously wasn’t the Sooners best effort. He spoke in the past about how great of a relationship he was building with OU coaches Bob Stoops, Mike Stoops and Tim Kish.
Then the 2015 season happened. There were people wondering why Hines was so high on OU last spring, but his faith has been rewarded by the stellar season on the field for the Sooners and stellar start for the 2017 class on the trail.
“It just shows you how great the coaching is there and how quickly they were able to flip everything around,” Hines said.
It’s a different energy in Norman right now, said Hines. He remembers his first couple of visits, and they don’t compare to the atmosphere that is at OU at this moment.
“Yes, you can really feel a difference,” Hines said. “They’re not even done with their stuff yet, but it’s electric. It’s a place where you can really build something special.”
Hines said he’s not sure if he’s going to attend OU’s spring game. It wouldn’t be shocking if he doesn’t, and as of now, he doesn’t have any visits planned.
With more than 80 offers, it would feel like a process will be underway for Hines in narrowing it down. He said that won’t be the case. Although he continues to mentally narrow it down, the only thing fans need to be on the watch for is a commitment.
And it’s not going to be something that is dragged out through a long period of time. Hines said he intends to be a mid-year enrollee so his goal is December for his commitment.
Hines, like OU commits Tre Brown and Levi Draper, also earned an invite to The Opening following his performance Sunday at the regional camp.
Nothing is set in stone, but it was the clear the bond Hines and Draper the recruits and Hines and Draper, the fathers, have built in the last year. SoonerSquad17 won’t be the reason Hines would pick OU, but he’s paying attention.
“Yes, sir, it’s definitely something I’m watching,” Hines said. “It’s a big-time class for 2017 that is already being built. I’ll be keeping my eye on it.”
OU has had five-star linebacker signees for the last two classes in Ricky DeBerry (2015) and Caleb Kelly (2016). The Sooners are hoping for Hines to be No. 3 for 2017.