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Luke Graham: Small town no big deal for Hinder

Luke Graham.
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Barry Every has been around college football recruiting for almost as long as highly touted Steamboat Springs High School quarterback Austin Hinder has been alive.

Every spent 13 years working at North Carolina, Florida State and Georgia. Now, he’s a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com.

Every knows a lot about football and a lot about recruiting. He also knows recruiting is the farthest thing from an exact science.



But when discussing Hinder on Wednesday, the one thing Every absolutely was certain about was that Hinder coming from a small, mountain town like Steamboat Springs should be the least of potential coaches’ worries.

Every, who works just outside of Atlanta, said his career has taught him that it’s not always the big high schools and power-rich football states that produce the best players.



“There really is no rhyme or reason,” he said. “Some of the greatest athletes played at smallest schools.”

That’s one of the many beauties of Hinder’s recruitment.

He is a guy that plays in the third smallest classification in Colorado, a state toward the bottom of the list in terms of churning out Division I talent.

Of course, there is a lot of hoopla surrounding Hinder, but it’s real. Recruiting analysts, quarterback gurus and high school coaches are convinced Hinder is the real deal.

Major college football programs are going hard after Hinder. They send him mock magazines with his photo on the cover. He receives handwritten letters from some of the top college coaches in the nation.

It’s a little surreal thinking that this quarterback from a small skiing community is one of the hottest recruits in the nation.

But Every’s right when he said players come from everywhere. What it breaks down to is hard work and doing the things that make a player successful.

Hinder could have sat around and done nothing after his sophomore year, but instead, he marketed himself and performed well at camps across the nation. At the U.S. Army National Combine, Every said one of the reasons Hinder came away as the top quarterback was because it looked like he was the only quarterback who had been throwing and working out before the combine.

It all adds up to another unique story from Steamboat Springs. Who would have thought? By this time next year, Hinder will be at a major Division I school prepping for spring ball.

And it doesn’t even matter that he’s from a small town.


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