Omarius Hines always knew he would be a Gator. It’s no coincidence he officially visited when Florida played their biggest rival, Florida State. The Swamp was rocking Saturday night and Hines couldn’t help but say yes to his childhood favorite.
“He committed this weekend on his trip to Florida,” Hines’ mom said.
Florida wide receiver coach Billy Gonzales made his impression on Hines’ mother, as he made a phone call to ensure that Omarius returned safely to home. The phone call also had another purpose, ensuring that the family approved of his commitment to play in Gainesville.
“I just talked with Coach Gonzales a couple hours ago,” she said. “He is a very nice guy and seems to have genuine concern. He kept talking about how excited he was to have Omarius on the team in Gainesville.
The 6-1, 183-pound wide receiver grew up in Texas, but his allegiance rested in the Sunshine State.
“He always liked the Gators for some reason that me and everyone else never understood,” she said. “He never really watched a lot of Gator football, but when he did, it would be a Gator game. I remember asking him when he was eight years old. He looked right at me and said ‘I’m going to be a Florida Gator’. That was after his first year of pee-wee football.”
Nobody in the Corsicana community knew where his feelings came from. According to his mother, there were few Gator fans in the area.
“When he said that, it kind of shocked me honestly,” she said. “Here in Texas all you hear is Aggie and Longhorn, so that shocked me. I thought for sure he would tell me one of those two schools, but he didn’t.”
Though Hines has grown up, the Gators always remained on top.
“We didn’t ever really talk about it much after when he was eight, but then when the time came about a year ago to look at it, Florida was right back there at the top,” she said.
A relief to Gator fans is that distance is not a factor for the Hines family.
“We’re excited for him,” Hines said. “A lot of people told me to have him stay close to home so I can make it to the games. That’s not how it is for us though. Wherever he is comfortable and happy; that’s where I want him to be.”
And the Gators couldn’t be any happier. Hines has always wanted to make his name in Gainesville, and starting next season he will have that opportunity.