With the growth of social media and highlight reels being seen by coaches much earlier than in the past, young players are getting noticed much faster. MSU found one of these young players in Anthony Hines III out of the talented Texas ranks from Dallas Episcopal. Hines pulled the trigger for MSU on his visit this weekend to Starkville, a visit he'll never forget.
"It went better than I could have ever expected," the talented freshman said. "I just love Starkville and the University it's a special place and I'm thrilled to be a part of it now."
Hines still has a long way to go in his recruitment but he has been high on the Bulldogs for quite some time. Making his fourth trip down to Starkville in the past year, the talented linebacker drove all the way from Dallas to make the call in person to Geoff Collins. He admits he didn't want the long process. He was ready to be a Bulldog.
"I was ready to end it. Just being done early frees me up now to focus on school and football and now I know where I'm going," Hines said. "I know I'm young but I feel like I've made the right decision and now I can focus on just getting better."
The Bulldog coaches made him feel like he was a part of the family for quite some time. Without pressuring the young play maker, the coaches sold Hines enough that he had no doubt in his mind where he wanted to be.
"(Coach Townsend and Coach Collins) are great guys. What really sold me on MSU was those guys just being themselves and being great coaches," Hines said about his recruiters. "They sold me on the University and their team and I bought in 100%."
Another big part of his decision was the MSU campus. Locked away in the small town of Starkville, residents of the area might take the campus for granted. Hines doesn't take it for granted and he mentioned how beautiful MSU really was to him.
"The environment of the school captured me. This university is incredible," Hines said of Starkville. "Everything there is just beautiful and makes me excited about the future. I'm just ready to get up there."
Hines now travels back up to Dallas where his 4-3 Episcopal team is trying to improve. He's becoming a leader of the defense and a playmaker that Collins can be excited about.
"I have quite a few sacks this season," Hines said of his freshman play. "I average close to two sacks a game with 12-14 tackles so I feel like I'm off to a great start in high school. I have work to do but I'm doing pretty well right now."
Hines chose the Bulldogs over offers from Montana and Akron and interests from LSU, Ole Miss, TCU and Vanderbilt.