Versatility is the name of the game for Hines

A big hitting safety who can play in space or come up and support the run is a nice luxury to have and Santa Ana S Derek Hines (6-1, 212) fits that description perfectly. The talented defender is still waiting on his first offer, but he's a patient young man who knows he has to continue to prove what he can do on a week-in, week-out basis.

Hines prepped at Villa Park High School in California and was lightly recruited after a standout prep career.

"Villa Park is a tiny little town near Orange and I really didn't get a lot of recruiting attention," Hines told on Monday evening. "I was basically a full qualifier, but I wanted to keep playing, so I met with the Santa Ana staff and I really liked them and I got a real family feeling with the team and I played with or against most of the guys on the roster, so it was just a comfortable situation for me."

The way the Dons use their safeties, Hines is asked to play both free and strong safety, depending on the offensive alignment, and he said he's ready to show he can play both.

"I like playing both, but I like to play close to the line and making tackles," Hines noted. "I like playing both, so it really doesn't matter to me, I just want to play."

As a freshman for the Dons, Hines notched over 40 tackles and one interception and he said he wants more this year and the preparation to meet that goal started during the offseason.

"I played last year at around 215," Hines said. "My body fat was at 18% and that is really what I focused on during the offseason and I'm now at 7% body fat and my flexibility and explosiveness are a lot better, so I think I can have a big year.

"My forty is down to a 4.4 and I think I'm in the best shape of my life."

On the recruiting front, Hines has an offer from a small D-2 school and Alabama State and San Jose State have both been in contact as well.

"I'm open to anyone who wants to recruit me," Hines said. "I just want a chance to play and to show people what I can bring to the table, so I'm just going to go out and play hard and see what happens."

Hines will finish his two-year degree in December and he'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

Derek Hines Scout Profile

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