Steamboat Springs What Fossil Ridge caught a glimpse of last year could become an all-too-familiar sight for the rest of the state this fall.
Austin Hinder to Alex Wood was heard 12 times against Fossil Ridge in Steamboat's first-round loss in the Class 3A football playoffs, and judging by the duo's performance on the summer football camp circuit, Hinder's six connections to Wood for touchdowns last season should drastically increase.
"He's just an amazing wide receiver," Hinder said of Wood. "This year, people will be keying in on him and leave other guys wide open. We'll be able to spread the ball around a lot. We have so many weapons it's ridiculous."
Both have attended camps around the region and state this summer. Hinder, who has attended some of the top quarterback camps across the nation, recently picked up a scholarship offer from the University of California, Berkeley.
Hinder said he attended a California football camp in mid-June and was asked to throw for head coach Jeff Tedford.
Tedford liked what he saw and extended a scholarship offer shortly thereafter.
"It's so amazing," said Hinder, whose grandfather Jim Hanifan was an All-American tight end at California. "When I was a little I used to dream about going to Cal."
Hinder, a rising junior, said he's not close to making a decision, but he knows California will be in the hunt until the very moment he signs a letter of intent. He's also receiving interest from Colorado, Colorado State, UCLA, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and Texas A&M, among others.
Hinder is done with football camps for the summer and said he's looking to add weight to his 6-foot-5, 175-pound frame.
"Now that I got an offer, the workload needs to be bumped up twice as much," Hinder said. "Expectations are high. I have to perform really well. Even though they gave me an offer, I still need to compete."
Wood returns from a camp at Kansas State today. Wood worked with the tight ends and each day made the elite section of the camp.
"It's the hardest competition I've faced in my life," said Wood, who measured in at 6-3, 218 pounds and ran a 4.85 second 40-yard dash at the camp. "If you didn't bring it, they would bring it to you and make you look silly."
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