Hines signs to play football at Marian



Call it fate or serendipity. But after wondering where he might land to play college football, Brownstown Central High School’s Lucas Hines was seen by accident by the college of his choice.

On Wednesday afternoon, Hines, who led the Braves on offense and defense this season in their 6-3 season, signed to play college ball at Marian University in Indianapolis — only hours after he and his family went on a shopping spree at the school store to stock up on identifying clothing.

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Hines was sporting his new Marian hat when he signed the paperwork for the school, where he is expected to play linebacker, his first love as a position, rather than running back, where he also excelled during the fall of 2020.

The event took place in the foyer in front of the school’s trophy room by the gymnasium and culminated years of wishing and hoping, planning and working for Hines, who said he has aspired to play college football probably since second or third grade.

“It’s a dream come true,” Hines said.

Recording a dream season on both sides of the ball helped Hines find this new home. He had been interested in possibly attending Indiana State or Hanover, but Marian pushed to the front of the line when the Knights discovered him.

The Braves were eliminated from playoff competition in their first game of sectional competition at Lawrenceburg, a 42-14 loss in late October in a game delayed at the start for hours by thunder and lightning.

The way Brownstown coach Reed May heard the story, Marian coaches were on the scene to scout two Lawrenceburg players, but once they saw Hines perform, they shifted their attention.

Hines’ mother, Carrie, said the family first heard from Marian “about 1 a.m.” that night.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior turned in superior play on both sides of the ball this season, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and being in on more than 100 tackles. That was pretty much the ultimate in two-way football play.

Hines was the team’s most valuable player, won all-Mid-Southern Conference honors and was The Tribune’s Football Player of the Year, among the cross-section of honors he received for offensive and defensive play and leadership.

At one point during the season, however, Hines was nervous that he wasn’t hearing from more schools, and he sat down with May, seeking reassurance. Hines said May told him, “Just be patient. The colleges will call.”

May said he thinks Hines and Marian make for a good fit.

“It’s a great program,” May said. “Great facilities. Great coaches. I feel like that’s really ironic (how Marian found Hines).”

The table where Hines sat with family members and May to sign his papers for Marian was decorated with flowers, balloons, a football and his old Brownstown helmet. There was no ambiguity about Hines’ sport of the future.

To put himself in position for an outstanding senior season, Hines adopted a nutrition program and weightlifting regimen that allowed him to gain weight. He was as high as 207 pounds during the season, though he has dropped weight recently.

The Knights would like to see a 225-pound linebacker report for next fall’s season, and Hines has already been given some weightlifting guidance to follow as he completes his senior year in high school.

Marian is fairly new to football, the program starting up in 2007. However, the Knights have won two NAIA national titles.

“A lot of times, the level doesn’t matter,” May said.

While Hines made a habit of running into the end zone while averaging around 12 yards per carry this season, his heart is with defense, and that’s where Marian wants him. He was itching for this day to come to make his commitment official after the surprise connection was made with the school.

“I had no clue,” Hines said of the Knights being aware of him.

Making the arrangement real Wednesday was welcome.

“I’ve been looking forward to it for a while,” he said. “It’s a sigh of relief, for sure.”

Good thing Hines signed after he and family members loaded up on Marian gear. He wasn’t even sure how much they all bought.

“A bunch,” Hines said. “Five or six T-shirts apiece.”

Now, the allegiance is real.

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