COVINGTON, Ga. — Jerrol Hines can breathe easily once again.
Seated at a table in front of his family, friends, teammates and coaches Wednesday morning, the Newton High School senior football player put an end to his recruitment process by penning his National Letter of Intent to play at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Hines started the morning off by addressing those in attendance and thanking them for the role they each played in helping him make it to the next level. He then signed his name at the bottom of his NLI, sat back in his chair and let out a joyful sigh before throwing on a sparkling smile to wear for the rest of the event.
“It felt like a great relief,” Hines said afterward. “The process is very long and I’m just glad it’s over, but I’m glad I got to go through the process. I’m glad all my friends and family were able to make it here. I’m just grateful.”
Hines juggled offers from Erskine University in Due West, S.C., and Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., before ultimately deciding to join the Battling Bishops in Delaware, Ohio. In the end, it came down to picking the school where he felt he could flourish the most, both on the field and in the classroom.
“[Ohio Wesleyan] stood out the most because it made me feel like I could see myself there for four years and be able to grow as a player and as a student,” Hines said. “It gave me a sense of, I could go there and I could grind, I could get good academics and just be at home.”
As a senior, Hines was a slotback and cornerback for the Rams. He helped lead Newton to a 7-4 mark and a trip to the first round of the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs.
“Pound for pound, he’s one of the best football players I’ve ever coached. He can do just about anything you ask him to do,” Newton head coach Camiel Grant Jr. said. “Extremely gifted in terms of his ability to block out whatever happened previously and focus on the moment. I’ve seen him make great plays, and that doesn’t slow him down. I’ve seen him have some setbacks, and that doesn’t slow him down. He’s just a total football player.”
OWU is a Division III program that competes in the North Coast Atlantic Conference. The Fighting Bishops posted a 7-3 record in 2019 while going 6-3 in NCAC play.