After suffering some unforeseen attrition from the offensive line unit this past season, coach Hays has a number of spots to fill for the 2017 class. After getting high school linemen such as Jack Anderson, Dawson Deaton, and Will Farrar to sign and graduate early, Hays and the offensive staff needed some older bodies to bring in for the spring, too.
Long Beach C.C. offensive lineman Jacob Hines would be the one to fill that role as the JUCO prospect officially signed with Texas Tech on Wednesday.
“I had been talking to coach Morris for about a month now. He and the running back coach came down to visit me about a week ago. They offered me and talked with me and coach Morris came back down on an in-home visit. He talked with my family, and he was telling me that he wanted to keep everything under wraps, and I respected that, which is why I didn’t say anything until I signed.”
Hines has a pretty interesting relationship with Texas Tech as he came down to Lubbock for a visit in May and was apparently offered a scholarship, an offer in which he didn’t accept. Hines said that his actions in May were on the coaches’ minds but didn’t affect his recruitment in the end.
“Of course it was something that was on their mind because they didn’t want to get left in the dust again. I was upfront about everything with them when I was talking to coach Morris and things like that.
“After he (Morris) came back, I appreciated everything a lot more. We talked about it for a bit. Hearing him and seeing how much interest he had in me, I really appreciated all the coaches coming back to me and giving me a shot with Texas Tech. I thought that was great. I really appreciated that.”
When Hines was first offered back in May, he was very unsure if Texas Tech was a place he could see himself playing at which is what had led to his initial decision to decline their offer back in May. When Tech made it clear that they wanted him, though, Hines wasted no time in jumping on the offer the second time.
“After speaking with coach Morris and understanding how much they were interested in me and how much they wanted me to be a Red Raider. I appreciated that because most kids don’t get one chance with a school, let alone two. I appreciated them coming back and getting a second look. I also think it will be better for me to head out from home for a little bit.”
Hines, a two-star prospect, was recruited by Tech in the spring and then was re-recruited by the Red Raiders again just before signing day. Why does Hines feel like Tech kept coming back for his services?
“I think just my physicality and aggressiveness that I like to play with on the field. Also, just my general leadership ability that they heard from my coaches. I had to take on some leadership roles this season. I was one of only returning sophomores who had any starting playing time. I had to take the reigns as much as I could with a lot of freshmen playing for us. I just tried to finish every play that I could and dominate when I could. I tried to do whatever I could to win games.”
“He (Morris) was just telling me the need that they have on the offensive line at the guard and tackle spots – specifically left guard and left tackle. He felt personally and said coach Hays felt the same way, that I could go in there and fill one of those roles. I can step in and be a guy who receives some playing time this upcoming season.”
Now the question may be asked, what made Tech go back after Hines or what made Hines want to reach back out to Tech? Well, it’s a pretty interesting story.
“Coach (Darrin) Chiaverini who is at Colorado and actually used to coach at Tech referred me back to [Tech]. He is probably the main reason that coach Morris and all the other Tech coaches stopped by again and gave me another look.”
“He (Chiaverini) referred me back to coach Morris and the Tech staff. He didn’t tell me exactly what he told the coaches, but he just said that he let them know that I was around and available. I appreciate what coach Chiaverini did for me because he didn’t have to do that at all.”
Hines offers up a lot of value for Hays and his offensive line unit as he can run and pass block – LBCC averaged 514ypg last season with 142 yards rushing and 372 yards passing – as well as play guard or tackle – Hines played tackle both seasons at LBCC.
The 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman hopes to bring all of that to the Tech offense and more. While the speed of play will be higher, Hines feels like he is well-prepared to make the transition to D1 football especially with his familiarity with high-powered offenses and the zone blocking scheme.
“I’d like to think for me personally that I am going to come in and work hard and show them that them coming around a second time wasn’t a wasted effort. I’m going to try and get Tech back to where they were before. No more 5-7 seasons. I’m trying to help out and get Tech to a bowl game. Even next year with it being the first year of the Big 12 championship game. Hopefully Tech can get back into that. Going forward I want to help Tech have a great season next season and beyond.”
He earned Second team All-Conference honors this past season.