GatorCountry.com continues to spotlight each of the scholarship players who will make up coach Will Mushamp’s Florida Gators football team this season.
Whether it be a senior starter or one of the last freshmen to receive a full ride, we’ll count off another athlete each day until the Florida football season officially begins Sept. 1 against Bowling Green in The Swamp.
Today, we introduce Gator Nation to senior leader Omarius Hines.
Omarius Hines was a member of the 2008 recruiting class and chose the Florida Gators over Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas and Michigan.
Hines came into Gainesville as a wide receiver for the Gators. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound standout from Corsicana, Texas didn’t see any action after redshirting his freshman year. In 2009, Hines was sixth on the team in receptions (14) and in receiving yards (172).
In 2010, Hines also saw time as a running back and rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns while still making an impact in the passing game with 281 receiving yards and one touchdown. His redshirt junior season was slightly less productive with only 118 total yards, despite playing all but one game.
The name of the game for Hines is versatility. His unique combination of size, field vision and hands allow him to play multiple positions. Over the course of his career he has lined up as a running back, wide receiver and tight end. Since the departure of Aaron Hernandez to the New England Patriots of the NFL, Hines has attempted to replicate Hernandez’ impact in the offense as a wide out/tight end combination.
Hines won’t be a consistent vertical threat in the passing game, but his great hands make him a reliable option for whomever is under center for the Gators. His size makes it tough for defenders to push him off of his route and to bring him down.
What to Expect
Since Percy Harvin and Riley Cooper left for the NFL, the wide receiver position has been one of disappointment for the Gators. There hasn’t been much production out of this unit and the coaching staff is hoping that will change with a new starting quarterback and offensive coordinator this season.
As a redshirt senior, Hines is the resident elder statesmen of the wide receiver corps, which should earn him significant playing time this season. Whichever quarterback wins the starting job will be looking for reliable targets during the season and Hines has the potential to be a go-to-guy for Jacoby Brissett or Jeff Driskel.
It’s his final season as a Gator, so expect Hines to step up for the offense and become an important asset in the passing game.