College: Ohio State
From: Cleveland, Ohio
High School Career: Came from vaunted Glenville High in Cleveland where he played for head coach Ted Ginn, the father of current 49ers receiver Ted Ginn Jr…Played outside linebacker, where he was ranked the 16th best in the nation at the position coming out of high school…Played quarterback and linebacker as a freshman, earning a starting job before moving to running back as a sophomore…Moved back to quarterback as a junior and completed his career there though he earned All District honors and honorable mention All State honors for his play at linebacker…recruited by all of the big time programs but opted to stay close to home and play for the Buckeyes.
College Career: Began his career on the weak side at linebacker, playing as a true freshman with most of his work on special teams…Played in 11 games as a sophomore after moving to nickel back and was part of one of the nation’s best defenses…Became a starter as a junior at free safety and finished fourth on the team in tackles with a sack and two interceptions on another dominant defense…emerged as one of the nation’s most touted safeties as a senior, earning All Big Ten honors as he started 12 games as he finished with the third most tackle (66) and an interception.
Need to Know: Hines’ uncle Joseph played on Penn State’s 1983 national championship football team.
He Said It:
“I’m a physical guy. I like to impose my will on opponents. Hit as much as I could.” – Hines said on draft weekend.
They Said It:
“Jermale is one of those guys at that position where you need leadership, vocal, a smart guy that can handle things. He’s done that, he’s been at Ohio State. He’s a physical guy, loves the game of football and we like to add those kinds of players to our team.” – Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo on what Hines brings to the table.
“He’s like a small linebacker, he’s that big. He does give you some flexibility. He’s a good blitzer; you can use him in a variety of ways. The good thing is mentally he can adapt to all of those roles.” – GM Billy Devaney on Hines’ versatility.
Outlook: Hines’ versatility to come up in the box and stop the run or drop into coverage could allow him to work at either safety position or perhaps even fill in as the second linebacker in the team’s nickel packages. Will compete for playing time on defense right away but figures to help on special teams immediately.