6’1, 190, Jr.
South San Francisco, CA
2015: 1.5 tackles
davidcmorrison: Anthony Hines’ redshirt got burned, almost by accident, in a potentially game-winning drive for Connecticut only about a month after he got on campus from junior college. That was pretty funny.
Hines continued to see action in dribs and drabs (along with special teams reps) over the course of the season and even jostled with Gibson and Cheadle at times to be the extra corner of choice when Barry Odom shifted Penton down to nickelback.
He’s got good size and good length, but he may have to wait until he’s a senior to try and state his case for a starting spot.
Sam Snelling: Late signings are rarely guys that become stars. It’s really not the norm, and Hines was the epitome of a late signing. A qualifying JUCO transfer who came in with four years to play three, he ended up burning a redshirt almost needlessly. He’s got the size and mobility that you want in a corner, but it remains to be seen if he’s good enough to challenge for a lot of reps despite the excitement he generated when he signed.
The Tigers could do a lot worse if he’s able to win the job, but I’ll be hesitant about his ability to be a consistent day-to-day performer until I’ve seen it. That was probably the most “I’m from Missouri and this is the Show-Me State” I’ve ever gotten.
Bill C.: That was pretty close, Sam.
The best-case scenario is that Missouri finds a bigger cornerback it can count on to help from a matchups perspective. Hines and John Gibson are really the only candidates in 2016, and while Gibson’s speed is nearly unmatched, his all-or-nothing tendencies open the door for Hines.
Finis Stribling IV
5’11, 175, So.
Thompson’s Station, TN
davidcmorrison: I’ve always said Stribling was the Finis of the Striblings. Because, you see, his first name is pronounced “FIE-niss.” And that kind of sounds like “finest.”
Oh, leave me alone.
Stribling, from his high school tape, looked like an intriguing special teams option to me, almost from jump street. His tape was unusual in that it actually showed his defense busting on occasion ... just so it could highlight how he tracked down the ballcarrier downfield after he got past the rest of the defense. When he gets up to speed, he can fly.
He started assuming the kick return mantel toward the end of last year and, when he did, he notched the Tigers’ longest kick return of the year — a 27-yarder. But then again he only averaged 16.4 per. But then again nobody was good on kick return.
And yes, I’m aware Gibson is back and Alex Ross is an option back there (as is Dimetrios Mason, possibly), but I’d be interested to see what Stribling could do with some even adequate blocking.
Oh, and he’s an Eagle Scout. So that’s cool.
Sam Snelling: Yeah, after reading what David said... I’m just going to let that ride.
Bill C.: It feels like Stribling’s been around longer than he has, but one figures that since he doesn’t stand out from a size perspective, he’s probably going to remain pretty far back in line until the departure of Penton and Gibson clear out the depth chart a bit.
And David’s right: I’m really excited about being able to add Ross and Chris Black to the list of potential names at kick returner, but Stribling might be just fine back there if he actually gets a block or two at some point.