Starting the Circuit

After a successful NFTC Nike Combine in Champaign last weekend, Mequon Homestead 2014 defensive lineman Brandon Hines is off and running on a busy summer schedule, which includes a stop in Madison later this month.

MADISON - Although having barely finished his sophomore year, Brandon Hines has already become a household name among most of the Big Ten coaches.

A 295-pound Mequon Homestead junior defensive tackle, Hines has been getting a lot of interest from just about every top Big Ten school, including Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Last year Hines unofficially visited the Badgers for their season opener against UNLV and their home finale against Penn State. During his two visits Hines got to know the Wisconsin coaching staff – building solid relationships with tight end coach Joe Rudolph and the rest of the UW staff.

When Rudolph was hired to join Paul Chryst as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh, Hines had to find a new connection on the Wisconsin staff. That connection has been in the form of defensive line coach Charlie Partridge and recruiting coach Ben Strickland.

"I've met a lot of the staff and I think I have a pretty solid relationship," Hines told Badger Nation. "It's been fun getting to know the new staff and talking to them through the process."

Finishing with 51 assisted tackles, seven sacks and 13 tackles for loss last season, Hines appears to be one of the Badgers' top in-state priorities in the 2014 recruiting class for one of their deeper positions.

With 14 scholarship defensive linemen currently on the roster, half of those players are either true freshmen, redshirt freshmen or redshirt sophomores. In the 2012 recruiting class the Badgers only brought in defensive tackle Arthur Goldberg and will likely add one more player to accompany defensive end Chikwe Obasih in the 2013 class.

With the Badgers losing six defensive linemen after the 2013 season, Partridge will need to reload his unit. Hines will have the opportunity to show his name belongs in the mix when he camps at Wisconsin later this month.

"I'm really just going to try to show them that I can get off the ball pretty fast for my size," said Hines. "My coaches at my high school pressure us to get off the ball, so I'm going to try to keep a low pad level and just be aggressive throughout the whole game and stand out."

Hines has already made his first camp/combine stop of the summer at the NFTC Nike Combine in Champaign on the campus of the University of Illinois and has multiple Big Ten stops scheduled. Nebraska was on Hines' list of schools to go to camp to this summer, but that trip is out, according to Hines.

"I was supposed to go to Nebraska this summer but my mom is having back spasms so she can't really drive," Hines said. "I'm going to be going to Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, and possibly Boston College and Minnesota."

Hines says that he'd be attending a Badgers game this upcoming year for sure, as well as a Michigan game, but is still planning out all his trips.

"Possibly further out, you know venture into some other conferences and see how everything goes and where I'm at by then," Hines said. "I'm just taking it day by day."

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