March 16, 2009

Hard work continues for Hinder

After a month that included being named one of the top 100 collegiate prospects in the country by, seeing his scholarship offer list grow to over 15 of the country's top schools and competing in a national 7-on-7 tournament, no one would blame Steamboat Springs (Col.) Quarterback Austin Hinder for taking a little bit of time off to enjoy his accomplishments. However, the 6-foot-4, 177-pound Hinder sees it all as more reasons to get back to work.

Hinder, who arrived back home this weekend from what he termed as a "pretty good," 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas, said he is enjoying his newfound status as one of the nation's top recruits, but isn't satisfied.

"Any way you look at it, it is awesome because it shows your hard work is paying off," Hinder said. "The main thing I saw in it is that when you are in the top-100 you have to work that much harder. This is going to be fuel for my fire. I am just going to have fun with it (the recruiting process). Some people think this is a hassle, but it is a dream to get scholarships. I don't do much differently, I just take it day-by-day."

Hinder led his Steamboat Springs team to an 8-3 record as a junior. last season. He estimated that he totaled 1,600 yards passing with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 60 percent of his passes. He added 750 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns. As a sophomore, Hinder rushed for 600 yards and seven touchdowns, while throwing for another 1,500 yards, 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions in 10 games.

Hinder is coming off a successful season on the hardwood for Steamboat Springs, which lost one game short of the Sweet 16 in Colorado High School State Basketball Tournament play. The last game Steamboat Springs played was in Fort Collins and Hinder said his family stayed overnight after the loss to Longmont to get a better look at the CSU campus.

"I didn't get to see any of the coaches, but it was pretty cool to walk around on-campus and get a look at it," Hinder said. "I am not too familiar with the area, but my first impression was great. I saw their practice field and they are building what looks like a huge, new weight room. It will be fun to see how that works out - Colorado State is a very good program."

The Rams have plenty of connections to Hinder who plays for a pair of Colorado State alums at Steamboat Springs High School, as well as a connection between his grandfather, legendary NFL offensive line coach Jim Hanifan and Rams' head coach Steve Fairchild, who coached together for the Saint Louis Rams.

"It (CSU) fits in," Hinder said when asked about the Rams chances of getting him to sign. "Right now there is a friend - our old kicker (CSU freshman) Ben DeLine - over there and he is always telling me about it. My head coach and kicking coach have told me about it. Steve Fairchild and my grandfather coached together in the NFL. He (Hanifan) has so much respect for Steve Fairchild."

"There are a lot of connections," Hinder said of his relationship to Colorado State.

Hinder said he hopes to make a commitment as early as he can, but he added he won't be pushed into a commitment. For now, he hopes to take as many visits as he can put together. he said he is going to try to set up visits to Notre Dame and Florida State as well as Alabama and potentially LSU. UCLA offered a scholarship recently and they will also get a visit.

"Right now they are all sticking out," Hinder said. "I know I am going to UCLA soon, then Cal and Stanford. I am getting really interested in them right now. UCLA offered me and I am going to take a huge look into them. That is a huge program as well."

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