Christopher Hinton Jr. is racking up the frequent flyer miles. The four-star Greater Atlanta Christian OL/DL has visits planned for Clemson, Notre Dame, Stanford and Cal this spring and is one of the best defensive lineman in the nation.
Hinton has offers from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech among others. But Stanford stood out when they offered.
“Their offers hold a lot of value to it, and it's not normal for them to offer a player as a sophomore. With them being a great school and a great football program, it really has a lot of meaning towards it,” Hinton said.
Hinton’s quarterback is Stanford commit Davis Mills, so the lineman is very familiar with the Cardinal.
“Davis has told me nothing but great things about Stanford. He's in my ear almost every day asking me what I think about Stanford,” Hinton said laughing.
Seeing how they carried themselves in Mills’ commitment made Hinton take notice, and the program aligns with his upbringing.
“It's such a great school. You can't really pass up on such a great academic opportunity like Stanford. It's just talking with them and seeing how they handled Davis,” Hinton said. “The things that they preach for their players is like (what) my parents’ mentality has been installed to their system…Stanford, with what they're doing over there and their philosophies is very familiar with my family and I, so we like Stanford.”
Hinton plays on both sides, but he said most schools, including Stanford, are recruiting him as a defensive line. He’s using his experience on the offensive line to help him on the defense.
“I know things that defensive linemen do to me that annoy m,e so I do that against other offensive linemen," Hinton said. "I just know their thought process.”
Now, he is working with Greater Atlanta Christian to win a highly sought-after state title. In 2016, they were state runner-up, and that is driving them to get better for the upcoming season.
“They installed a super competitive mentality, and I love it,” Hinton said. “The things that we do in the summer really help us get through tough times which translates in life.”
That drive, and success, was on display throughout the program, and rang true for Mills.
“On the field, he is always as cool as a cucumber,” Hinton said. “It's a confidence booster and we think we have this because our leader is so confident and it really rubs off on his teammates.”
Maybe Mills can have that same effect on Hinton at the college level too.