Sailors’ Hinder reflects on All-American Bowl | SteamboatToday.com

Sailors’ Hinder reflects on All-American Bowl

Luke Graham

Austin Hinder

— Call it the harsh realities of big-time football, but Steam­boat Springs High School senior Austin Hinder came away from the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl with a better outlook of what Di­­vis­­ion I football requires.

Hinder was among some of the top prep football players in the country. Although he said in practice he progressed well and continually got better, Hinder played only a few snaps in the game Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Hinder's West team outlasted the East, 29-14.

"It was learning an offense on the run," said Hinder, who finished the game 1 for 1 for 20 yards, was sacked once and fumbled on an exchange from the center. "You have to adjust to it as fast as you can. You split time with other quarterbacks. So when you get those snaps, you have to make the most of them."

Although Hinder was discouraged by his playing time, he said it was a good way to cap his high school career.

Players practiced daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then went to meetings or listened to prominent speakers. The schedule was much like the one Hinder will face when he goes to the University of California, Berkeley.

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"I had the best experience going down there and adjusting to the speed of the next level with all the Division I players," he said. "That, and you're doing stuff all the time."

After graduation, Hinder said, he will travel to California to enroll in classes and start working with Bears head coach Jeff Tedford.

Until then, he said he will focus on getting bigger, faster and stronger while primarily working on his footwork and throwing mechanics.

Hinder said he plans to be on the campus in June and said at this point he plans to battle for playing time his freshman season.

Although he understands that he'll more than likely redshirt, he said he's going in with the mind-set that he'll have a chance to play right away.

"I would like to say my goal is if I can go do something right away," Hinder said. "If I redshirt, I'll get bigger and stronger. After that redshirt, though, it's time to compete. … I'll start one year, I promise."