April 28, 2009

Steamboat Springs about to get visitors

Just back from a spring break trip to Mexico, the recruiting season has picked up right where it left off for Steamboat Springs (Col.) signalcaller Austin Hinder. The 6-foot-4, 177-pound Hinder is seeing coaches from some of the nation's elite schools come to Steamboat Springs to talk football and press him for his services in the coming weeks.

"I have a bunch of coaches coming in this week," Hinder said. "It is crazy, but it if fun. It is one step closer to getting to the big leagues. It is a good feeling because it is something you have worked so hard to for to get to."

Stanford will be in the Springs today with Alabama coming Thursday. Cal and Colorado State will be in next week to visit Hinder.

As a sophomore, Hinder completed 123-of-184 passes for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns. Hinder threw just three interceptions and also ran for 600 yards. As a junior, Hinder managed 1,600 yards passing and 14 touchdowns. He added another 750 yards and 10 scores on the ground for a Steamboat Springs team that went 8-3 overall and loses just three starters going into 2009.

Hinder was in Mexico last week on a spring break trip and seemed to have had a good time.

"I went with a couple friends," Hinder said. "We went down to get in the sun and got out of the cold and didn't catch the swine virus, so I guess that was good."

Before leaving for Mexico, Hinder had been to UCLA and enjoyed the visit. Next month will bring another trip to the West Coast.

"UCLA was a great campus," Hinder said. "I loved it there, I had a fun time. Now in May I am going to go to Cal and Stanford for camps and visits."

The Colorado State connection for Hinder includes two coaches on his high school staff claiming CSU as their alma mater, as well as the connection between his grandfather, Jim Hanifan, and current Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild, who coached together for the Saint Louis Rams.

"I am talking with Coach Fairchild and learning as much as I can about CSU," Hinder said. "I think it is a good place."

Hinder said he is looking for a good academic environment, as well as a coaching staff he is comfortable in and good atmosphere around the team itself. Hinder said he is interested in an engineering major, or perhaps something in the medical field should he end up at UCLA.

While the recruiting process is well underway, Hinder said he is still seeing new schools come in to the picture, noting Florida and Miami have been two of the most recent entrants. That said, he added he has not eliminated anyone, but does have some favorites.

"I am going to have to narrow it down pretty soon," Hinder said. "In my mind I have some schools I really like. I want to get my visits in to make sure. In the end I have to go to the places I know I am going to be the most successful."

"Right now it is like Cal, UCLA, Notre Dame, Florida State, LSU, Stanford. CU, CSU because they are in-state and I like them as well. That is pretty much the top ones right there," he added.

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