Steamboat Springs, Colo., quarterback Austin Hinder has all the tools to be one of the nation's top quarterback prospects in the 2010 class. Not only does he have a very solid arm, he's got the frame, mechanics and smarts.
He also now has an offer that only a few elite national signal-callers get.
"I went down to a football camp in Cal, and I got my first offer there," Hinder, who is 6-foot-5 and 178 pounds, said. "Ever since I was in the sixth grade this was my dream school to go to. I was so happy. I never thought my first offer would be to them. I'm really enjoying the recruiting process right now. Man, getting my first offer from Cal was just amazing."
But Hinder said he's not in any rush to make a decision.
"I've got two more years of high school," Hinder said. "I'm going to look at every school that comes at me. I've got a bunch of time to look at everything. I love Cal, though, and I love coach Jeff Tedford. He's an amazing quarterback coach, and they're definitely way up there, but I'm going to keep my options open."
And he does seem to have quite a few options.
"I've been talking to Cal, UCLA and Pac 10 schools a lot," Hinder said. "I'm talking to CU and CSU also. I've gotten looked at by Oregon, Cal, CSU, CU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Utah, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Kansas State. The schools I've been hearing from the most are Cal, CU, CSU, UCLA, Texas and Oregon."
"That's letter wise. I've only talked to a few coaching staffs which were Cal, UCLA, CSU, and CU."
Early on a few coaches have already made nice impressions.
"Coach Hawkins came up to Steamboat to do a speech," Hinder said. "He goes to every town in Colorado to do it. I got to introduce myself, but he couldn't talk because of NCAA rules.
"But there's no question about it that coach Tedford has stood out the most. I just worked with him for one day and he fixed some things with me as far as footwork and my mechanics. He's a great guy."
Hinder is working hard on improving his game even more. After weighing 168 pounds at the NIKE Camp, he's now bulked up to 178. He's also been timed electronically at 4.85 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
"The plans for the summer are just working out every day and getting ready for two a days," Hinder said. "Right now we're returning so many starters, and we're really fast, but the thing is we're not that big – our O-line isn't big but they're fast and strong. But we're not 5A or anything. we're 3A.
"We made it to the first round of the playoffs last year, but we lost. We did really well for what people thought we were going to do because we had lost so many starters. This year we return a bunch and we should be good."