Florida Gators' Omarius Hines May Be the Key to Offense

Brad GoldbachCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2010

Hines brings a whole lot of athleticism to the tight end position in the post-Hernandez era.
Hines brings a whole lot of athleticism to the tight end position in the post-Hernandez era.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

With Aaron Hernandez headed to the pros, the Florida Gators offense is in desperate need of a capable tight end to create mismatches over the middle of the field.

With playmakers ready to step in all over the field, this may be the biggest key to the offense this seasons.

Enter Omarius Hines.

Gators fans became accustomed to seeing Hernandez make magic happen over the middle of the field last year. It is certainly no easy task to replace such a dynamic playmaker at tight end, but you won't find many people more equipped to do that than Hines.

It is not entirely clear how the coaches will use Hines, but one thing's for sure: They will do whatever they can to get him on the field.

And, right now, that happens to be at tight end.

With Jordan Reed out of the team's opener with a bruise on his leg, Hines will get every opportunity to establish himself as the team's go-to tight end and heir to Hernandez.

If you want someone to compare Hines to then think of him as a shorter, faster version of Cornelius Ingram, the uber-athletic tight end who lost his senior season at Florida to a torn ACL.

Not bad company at all.

Hines measures 6'0" and 223 pounds. He's come a long way from the 193 pounds he brought with him to Gainesville three years ago.

How did he do it? He worked his way up to being able to do almost 30 pull-ups...with a 30-pound weight tied around his waist.

He also benches 365 pounds.

If you think adding 30 pounds in three years is a lot, then you will be impressed that he could not even bench 225 pounds 10 times as a freshman. It's no surprise that he's referred to as the Freak of Freaks by The Gainesville Sun.

The scariest part? He also runs the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds, according to coaches.

It's fair to say that his resume is fit for the position as Florida's new tight end.

A wide receiver/tight end hybrid may be more accurate, depending on who you listen to, but we'll just call him an absolutely unfair matchup over the middle.

Don't expect many linebackers, nickel backs or any other unfortunate souls to be able to cover the guy.

Last year, as a backup wide receiver, he caught 14 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown.

Reports say that he developed a nice rapport with John Brantley on the team's second unit. Sounds like the perfect guy to be Brantley's new safety valve.

Expect them to form a beautiful connection that will help the rest of the playmakers go to work around them. 

Hines may have a tough battle to become the fans' favorite playmaker, but he has all the tools on his side to seamlessly replace Hernandez, something the Gators wish could be said about Percy Harvin's replacements last season.

If he can do that, then the Gators' offense is well on its way to being even more dynamic than even the most optimistic fans thought possible.


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