Memorial’s Hines picks LaTech

Published 6:02 pm Friday, June 30, 2017

Port Arthur Memorial running back Elijah Hines has decided he’ll take his talents to northern Louisiana in 2018.

The high school senior announced Friday on Twitter his verbal commitment to Louisiana Tech. It comes after a breakout season in which he helped the Titans win a share of the District 22-5A championship and totaled 1,661 rushing yards.

Hines posted an open letter to the LaTech athletic department in his Twitter announcement.

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“Dear (Louisiana Tech Athletics), I want to start off by saying thank you God for all of the skills you’ve given me. I’m truly blessed and I gladly accept your invitation to join the (Louisiana Tech Athletics) Football Team!” Hines wrote. “It is a great honor to be considered to join your team, and I look forward to learning more from the coaches and teammates once I arrive on campus. Your coaching staff really made me feel like we were family away from home. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help prepare for this journey! #BULLDOGS”

Hines can make his choice official as early as December, when a new signing period for high school seniors will go into effect. The traditional National Signing Day is held in February.

For Memorial, the signing will continue a pipeline of players going to the Pelican State including now-freshmen Kary Vincent Jr. at LSU and Kadon Harrison at Louisiana-Lafayette.

“Louisiana Tech has a great program,” Memorial coach Kenny Harrison said. “It’s going to be a great fit for him. They can utilize him in a bunch of different ways. He can catch the ball well out of the backfield and he can be used as an inside slot receiver.

“I think Elijah going to Louisiana Tech is a win-win.”

Hines (5-foot-7, 160 pounds in 2016) is picking up more regional attention with an appearance on the cover of the August edition of Bayou City Preps magazing along with Silsbee wide receiver Kalon Barnes, a Baylor commitment. Hines also fielded offers from Sam Houston State, Rice, New Mexico, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern and Prairie View A&M, among others.

He was chosen as The News’ Offensive Player of the Year in 2016. He scored 21 touchdowns — five of them against Port Neches-Groves in a 303-yard, 31-carry effort — exceeding expectations of having to fill the role left behind by current Auburn running back Kam Martin.

Louisiana Tech was 9-5 and 6-2 in Conference USA, winning the West Division but losing the conference’s title game to Western Kentucky. The Bulldogs edged No. 25 Navy in the Dec. 23 Armed Forces Bowl at TCU.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews




About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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