A major injury early in his junior season set Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge offensive lineman Skyler Hinton's recruitment back, but the 6-4, 307-pound prospect has made a strong comeback late in the process. He will embark on his first two official visits later this month.
"I'm heading out to Wyoming this Friday for an official. Then, next weekend I am going out to Northern Iowa for an official visit," Hinton reported. "I'm pretty excited about Wyoming and Northern Iowa. They are both really good programs and I just want to get out there, learn more about them and see if it is a place I'd like to play at."
Additional official visits could be scheduled for January because several teams have expressed interest in Hinton and are currently evaluating his film.
"Syracuse is starting to come in, Iowa State possibly, Northern Illinois is talking to me a lot lately and then I'm [hearing] a little bit from Vanderbilt and some from New Mexico," Hinton reported. "Syracuse said they like the highlight tape, they just want to see more film so I sent that out them, New Mexico and Vanderbilt so I'm waiting to hear back on their reactions."
Hinton attended several camps this past summer, including one at Northern Illinois. His decision will largely come down to his experiences on these official visits, however.
"The biggest thing for me is the program overall," Hinton said. "Stuff like do I feel I can play there for the next four or five years, do I like the coaching staff there, do I like the direction the program is headed. Then, the academics becomes more involved after that."
Hinton broke his leg in the third game of his junior year and missed the remainder of his season. That setback was a major reason why his recruitment started later than most.
"It put a kink in my recruiting plan not having any [junior] film at all," he said. "A lot of recruiting is done after your junior year. I did what I could with the little I had."
Told he would not be back to 100 percent until the following summer, Hinton went about showing his resolve and surpassed all expectations on his rehabilitation.
"The doctor told me that Friday night in the hospital that I would be out eight months and basketball would not be in the picture this year," Hinton recalled. "I told him, 'No, I'll be back before then,' and I ended up coming back in three months and ended up playing basketball and lettering on varsity my junior year.
"When I started working out for football my leg started bothering me a little bit so I went in and saw the doctor who had done the surgery. He just said it was the plate that was left in there after surgery. The doctor took it out and said I would be out for eight weeks, but I was full speed and back at it in under a week.
"After we took [the plate] out, it's been like it never even happened. There's been no problems or complications."