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No. 2 ILB Anthony Hines: I could picture myself at Texas

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A strong business school and a strong relationship with Charlie Strong are factors favoring the Longhorns with the highly-coveted prospect.

Anthony Hines
Anthony Hines
Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

COPPELL, Texas -- For a prospect with 85 offers from nearly every major program in the country, Plano East linebacker Anthony Hines faces some heavy pressure when he comes out to big events like the Dallas The Opening Regional camp on Sunday at Coppell High School. He has to prove that he's worthy of all those offers.

By excelling in one-on-one drills and throughout the entire event, Hines was able to punch his ticket to The Opening Finals at the Nike campus in Beaverton this summer and prove once again that all those offers aren't a fluke.

By the way, the only major programs yet to offer Hines? Arizona State, Florida State, and Wisconsin.

"I'm in contact with almost every school in the country," he told Burnt Orange Nation.

One of those offers is from the Texas Longhorns. The 6'2, 230-pounder, who is ranked as the consensus No. 2 inside linebacker in the country, has been a frequent visitor to the Texas campus during his recruitment and took his latest visit in late February for the Junior Day.

"It's always nice to talk to coach Strong -- he's an awesome coach and has a great presence about him. Of course, it's just top-tier facilities and a great education as well," Hines said.

During the conversation with Strong, the Texas head coach stressed a couple of key points to the Plano East standout.

"He expressed to me how I was their top priority in the 2017 class and just told me how much it would mean for me to come down there. I mean, it's definitely a place I could picture myself at."

Hines is also close with two other high-profile prospects who were at the Junior Day -- consensus five-star linebacker Baron Browning and consensus five-star safety Jeffrey Okudah. In fact, Hines said that he and Browning are best friends and could "possibly" play together at the next level, while Okudah is also someone he keeps up with closely.

Package deals have a tendency to fall apart late in the process and it's not quite accurate to even call Hines and Browning a potential package deal at this point, but those ties can at times make a difference, especially for guys who play at the same position.

Another visit to Texas during the spring is a possibility for Hines, who plans on taking his official visits during the fall and will make his decision prior to his early enrollment at the school of his choice. Still in the process of narrowing his list down, the consensus four-star prospect doesn't yet know any schools that would make that list at this time.

Several factors will influence his eventual decision -- Hines is looking for a strong business school, since that's his intended major, he wants to play for a successful football program, and he wants a school that fits him "socially."

All of the schools that are receiving heavy interest from Hines have quality business programs and while he wasn't willing to mention any of those schools by name, he has had a chance to sit down with business school faculty members on each of his visits and did mention the overall education at Texas earlier in the interview.

So his strong relationship with the Longhorns head coach and the excellent McCombs School of Business in Austin are all factors that should keep Texas in the mix with Hines until he makes his decision, which will likely come shortly before his enrollment next January. In fact, the last three predictions in the 247Sports Crystal Ball are all in favor of the Longhorns.

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