ORLANDO — Anthony Hines III had the type of statistics this season that is the defensive version of Bo Jackson Tecmo Bowl circa 1987 — the Plano East (Plano, Texas) linebacker had 235 total tackles, including 138 solos.
Even discounting for an over-caffeinated statistics keeper, that’s a ridiculous number. His career stats are just as amazing: 640 tackles, including 96 for loss.
“I obtained that many tackles because most of the times I knew what play it would be before it happened because of film study,” Hines said. “It’s definitely being hungry for more knowledge, being able to spend the extra hour in the film room, to know that lineman’s tendencies. It makes it a lot easier to know your enemy, to know your opponent.”
With Hines as a 6-3, 225-pound middle linebacker, it was hard for teams to run away from him.
Hines was named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA First Team Defense and was named the ALL-USA Texas Defensive Player of the Year.
“I was smack dab in the middle and if they ran outside screens, I had the ability to stay focused on the play,” Hines said. “I was blessed to have Deionte Watts (a 6-3. 302-pound defensive tackle headed to Nebraska) in front of me, to give me that extra split-second to go wherever I saw that ball moving.”
“A lot of times I made plays I wasn’t supposed to because I wanted to,” Hines said.
Hines, a Texas A&M commit, is playing in Sunday’s Under Armour All-America Game. On Friday, he was the top linebacker on the obstacle course for the American Family Insurance Obstacle Course.
He is scheduled to be on campus on Jan. 10. In the meantime, he’s heard from A&M on a few players the Aggies would like him to recruit.
“We definitely game plan,” Hines said. “Levi Jones is a guy we’re really trying to get. He would be a huge asset to us, as well as Marvin Wilson. We’re going to be trying to get him until the end.”
Jones, a top 15 linebacker, told reporters this week that he has an official visit set up for Florida in January and is trying to decide among Texas A&M, Florida State, UCLA and USC for his other two. Wilson, a defensive tackle who is among the top 5 players at any position, does not have Texas A&M in what he termed his “final five.”
But in recruiting, you never know. And Hines can be persuasive.