April 13, 2012

Sophomore has a great visit to Ann Arbor

Mequon (Wisc.) Homestead defensive tackle Brandon Hines has been looking forward to his Michigan visit, and yesterday's trip to Ann Arbor didn't disappoint. The 6-2, 265-pound sophomore didn't pick up an offer from the Wolverines, but knows it's simply because the two parties still have to get to know each other.

"I actually got introduced to the Michigan coaching staff just a couple of months ago," Hines explained. "We're fairly new to each other; it's not like Wisconsin where I've been talking to them since before the football season. I'm fairly new to Michigan, so they're doing their research and I'm doing my research."

Hines is also focused on his high school career. With two more years left to play in a Highlanders uniform, there's no need to worry quite yet about his eventual college destination. He's working hard in the classroom and the weight room to be the best player - and student - he can be, and the recruiting process will take care of itself.

"My high school coach, Coach Dave Keel, kind of wants me to focus on high school football, so that's kind of the message that's been forwarded to the Michigan coaches," Hines explained. "I guess he preaches that, and so that's kind of what they're saying: Don't get caught up in a lot of the hype and a lot of the recruiting process, and everything will go along with that."

Although the recruiting process hasn't quite kicked into full gear yet, Hines still had the opportunity to see what plenty of Michigan has to offer when he was on campus. The football program, school, and town were on full display.

"The assistant there actually toured us around the entire football facility," Hines explained. "We got to see the locker room, everything. It was one-one-one, he told us about the program. After seeing most of the facilities, he actually took us out and showed us Ann Arbor, some of the spots.

"After that, we got something to eat, and then we also got an academic presentation where we sat down with three people. The last person we met with was a lady named Shari, and she actually told us about a program they have for athletes to pursue other things besides football after college, to have a backup plan. So that was really nice."

The best part of the visit, however, was meeting with Wolverines defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. The Wisconsin native struck a chord with Hines and his mother, and his reputation as Michigan's best recruiter is well-earned.

"Coach Mattison actually knows my head coach because he's from Wisconsin and they're really really good friends," Hines said. "Coach Mattison really made an impression. My mom really liked Michigan a lot, and thinks I should go there."

It was the veteran defensive coordinator's message about a potential offer that made the biggest impact on Hines.

"The only thing I really have to do to get that offer officially is kind of just stay with good behavior in school and keep my grades up, because Michigan is key on academics. Keep your grades up and keep your head on your shoulders. He said, 'just do all of those things, and then I'm going to be at your door in a couple of months.'"

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