A familiar name inked with Texas Tech on Wednesday in Long Beach CC sophomore offensive tackle Jacob Hines . The 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive lineman was a freshman qualifier that was offered and brought out on an official visit last summer, but ended up declining the offer and returning to his junior college.
This time around, with Tech again in serious need of some bodies up front, was different.
"Everything worked out great for me, I think. Coach Morris followed me about a month ago, him and I had just been going back and forth and talking. About a week or so ago, he came down for a visit from Tech here to LBCC. He and I were just talking, he extended the offer. It was great to have. He came by for an in-home visit that same night, and after talking with my family I told him that I was committed to Tech if everything worked out. He just wanted me to keep things under wraps, and I respected that, I just waited until today before I said anything."
Hines regretted his decision not to sign with Tech last summer and is grateful for the second chance extended to him by the offensive staff.
"Well you know, last year when I went out to visit Tech, it was a really awkward time. They had just gotten out of session, so the school and campus were basically empty, there weren't many people there. I just, I didn't go over there the most clear-minded at the time, and in retrospect that affected my decision way too heavily. Like I was telling other people, I'm just glad that coach Morris came around the second time around and gave me another shot with Tech."
With Tech strapped for depth along the offensive trench, Hines has already discussed with his future offensive coordinator Eric Morris where he fits in to the Red Raider offense.
"He's mostly talked about me playing left tackle or left guard, just depending on how things shake out over there."
The Cali offensive lineman talked about his future position coach and offensive coordinator.
"They're great guys, and like I said, I appreciate them giving me another opportunity with Tech. I love their desire to get Tech playing back at the high level they used to be, just trying to win ball games. I think they're great, and I'm excited to get out there and join and help out."
Did Hines watch the Red Raiders in action this past season?
"Yeah, whenever I could. Obviously we played on Saturdays and with the away and home games, I couldn't really catch them. But when I did catch them, I noticed that whenever the offensive line was in sync and had things going, just how explosive they could be with Mahomes back there slinging."
Speaking of Mahomes, Red Raider Nation has yet to hear whether the elite gunslinger will return for another shot at a Big 12 title. Has Hines heard anything from the coaches on whether Mahomes will declare for the NFL?
"No, nothing personally yet. I'm not gonna lie, I'm also anxious to see whether he's going to come back. It would be fun to play with the guy for a year."
Wednesday marked a prolific recruiting day for Texas Tech, who signed six midyear junior college prospects who can participate in the spring. Hines is ready to build relationships with his future teammates.
"I personally don't know any of the guys who have signed, but I'm anxious to follow some of these guys on Twitter and talk with them, get to meet them, and when we see each other in another month, get to bond with them. Hopefully everything works out and we're all cool. We're all in it together to make Tech great again."
The signee was asked about his thoughts on playing in the Big 12, a conference known for its high-powered scoring attacks.
"It's great, because it's explosive, explosive offenses all around, no matter where you look in the Big 12. It's great exposure, it's great football. It's really interesting, because next year there will be the first Big 12 championship game in seven or eight years. Personally, I'm hoping to play in that game with Tech, it would just be a great experience playing in the Big 12."
Hines will be on campus next month and will go through the spring.
"I should be on campus January 16th, that's when I have to report. I'll be majoring in history with an emphasis on teaching. Get my teaching certification, and then coach."
Jacob Hines chose Texas Tech over offers from Mercer and New Mexico, and interest from Buffalo, Colorado, East Carolina, North Texas, and Oregon State.