Alvin Hines II emerges as a star on defense

Safety Alvin Hines II has become a leader in the secondary and was named SoCon Defensive Player of the Week for his play against Furman on Oct. 8.

Clayton T. Hurdle
Sports Writer

Prior to helping the Bulldogs defeat Elon this weekend, junior safety Alvin Hines, II was named Defensive Player of the Week in the Southern Conference for his stellar play in a 26-21 win over Furman.

Hines, an exercise science major, recorded nine tackles and broke up two key passes to help Samford pull off a tough road win over the Paladins on Oct. 8.

Hines also made an interception near the end of the first half, which resulted in a Samford touchdown to make the halftime score 16-0.

“It was right before halftime, and we were getting ready to get off the field,” Hines said. “[Defensive end] Nick Williams tipped the ball up in the air, and I went up underneath to catch the interception. I actually fell so I didn’t get that many return yards, but it was still a big play for us.”

The win was Samford’s first ever over Furman in Southern Conference play and, coupled with the team’s home win over Elon last Saturday, gave the Bulldogs a three-game win streak and a 4-2 overall record.

“We’re clicking now as a team,” Hines said. “We’ve overcome some adversity, and we’ve got the momentum now. There’s more of a swagger now. We’re playing Samford Bulldog football.”

When Hines learned about winning Defensive Player of the Week, he said it was an “awesome and great feeling.”

“It’s a great honor, but it’s something to build on,” Hines said. “It’s my first year as a starter, so for the fifth or sixth week that’s a pretty big accomplishment. I’ve got to continue to play well.”

On Monday, senior cornerback Corey White became Samford’s second SoCon Defensive Player of the Week in a row for his 12 solo tackles and two takeaways against Elon.

“That is a great reflection on our program,” Hines said. “Our coaches are teaching us the right things to do and putting us in the right position to make plays. Having back-to-back players of the week means that teams are going to come at us with more stuff and we’ll have to make even more plays.”

As far as individual success goes, Hines will humbly accept the praise and continue to work towards improvement.

“The most important thing is that I know who I’m playing for, and that’s Jesus Christ.” Hines said. “I make sure before every game to thank him for what he’s given me.”

For a more earthly inspiration, Hines models his play after the late Sean Taylor, a former all-pro safety for the Washington Redskins.

“The way he used to roam the field and hit people, it was like he was everywhere at one time,” Hines said. “That’s how I try to play.”

In fact, part of the reason Hines wears the number 21 is because it was Taylor’s number during his abbreviated career.

Hines and the rest of the Bulldogs face four more Southern Conference opponents this season, and he will be a constant leader as the team continues through its schedule.

“Alvin is an outstanding person and student who plays the game with a lot of passion and intensity,” Samford head coach Pat Sullivan said. “He has provided great leadership for us all year.”

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