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December 17, 2013

All-conference JuCo DB Deshane Hines waits on Cal

What a week.

On December 6th, College of San Mateo DB Deshane Hines boarded a plane to Boulder. He'd have official visits on back-to-back weekends to see two Pac-12 programs: Colorado and Cal.

He'd trip to the former with an offer in hand, and hoped he'd leave the latter -- a "dream school" he'd been cheering for since he was in Pop Warner -- with one from the Bears. The plan: to make a final commitment decision on Sunday and sign with one of the two programs three days later.

On Thursday, though, the Buffs were full.

And on Sunday, the Bears still hadn't offered.

Now, less than 24 hours from JuCo Signing Day -- the first day in a nearly month long early signing period for midyear transfers -- Hines is left to wait.

In particular on the Bears, who left the weekend with a commitment from Hines' teammate Sam Atoe, an encouraging trip from Rivals' 8th-ranked JuCo prospect in 2014, Tee Shepard (this is a must-read if you haven't already), and a swing and a miss on Tion Wright, a Moorpark College DB who committed to Baylor on Monday.

"They said they want me," Hines said of the Cal staff. "They said they wouldn't have had me on a trip if they hadn't had any interest in me. They know my coach at San Mateo, what kind of person I am."

And what kind of DB. An all-conference defender in 2013, Hines followed up a 4-INT, 47-tackle freshman season with a 40-tackle sophomore campaign where opponents literally stopped throwing to his side of the field.

"At the beginning of the game, they'd try throwing in my direction in the first quarter and then they'd just stop. They just gave up on their receivers on my side of the field. A lot of coaches from other teams would come to me after games and say 'We couldn't throw your way.'"

It's the highest compliment for a defensive back, but also what prevented the lockdown corner from putting up big-time sophomore season numbers.

Still, in spite of an interception-less 2013 season, Hines earned a first-team all conference nod and visit invites from both the Buffs and the Bears.

"The visit, it was great," Hines said of the Berkeley trip. "Everything, the facilities are all brand new, look nice, nice stadium, one of the best campuses I've seen. We went out to San Francisco, took the ferry -- I'm from the Bay Area and I'd never took the ferry before."

"I'd love to go to Cal, it's been a dream school, I'd love to play there. It's a great school academically, the best public school you can go to. I've grown up a Cal fan -- honestly I never thought I'd ever have this opportunity."

And depending on what happens in the next month, he might still not.

"It's all a numbers game," Hines said.

Playing for off-the-radar American High in Fremont, Hines went the JuCo route in hopes of becoming an FBS prospect on the field. Off, Hines is already pretty much there -- the 5'11", 180-pounder carries a 3.3 GPA and says grades were the one hurdle he didn't have to clear transitioning from high school to junior college.

"When I first came here, they said 'Are your grades alright? Are your grades alright? Are your grades alright?'" Hines said laughing.

They were, and his football skills caught up to them pretty quickly -- Hines started at corner both seasons at CSM. Now he's left to look for a start somewhere else.

"I'm just waiting now to see if anything happens, anyone can decommit by Wednesday anytime -- I'm not too worried."

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