The Wolfpacker

Sept.-Oct. 2020

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 43 of 51

44 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JUSTIN H. WILLIAMS N yheim Hines won the Philip Rivers Rookie of the Year Award in 2015 as the most outstanding first-year player on the NC State football team. Although the 5-9, 197-pound running back from Garner, N.C., was only 4 years old when Rivers led the Wolfpack to an 8-4 record as a true freshman in 2000, Hines now gets to call the legendary quarterback a teammate five years after winning the award named after him. Rivers, entering his 17th NFL season, signed a one-year, $25-million contract with Indianapolis this offseason to become the Colts' starting quarterback in 2020. Hines, one of 10 running backs to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season at NC State, was selected by Indianapolis in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft and enters his third season with the franchise. "He was in school from 2000-03, and I was born in 1996. I did the math," Hines told of Rivers. "I was like, 'Wow, that guy has played a lot of football.' So when- ever he talks I am definitely going to listen." Growing up less than 10 miles south of NC State's campus, Hines recalls watching Rivers as his very first memory of Wolfpack football. "I remember seeing him in the Nike No. 17," Hines said. "They had some great players, and I saw him win some games. I remember thinking, 'Maybe soon I'll get to play there and help them win games, too,' which happened." It's not the first time Hines will play along- side a former Pack quarterback on Sundays. Jacoby Brissett, now entering his fifth NFL season, became a Colt before Hines was drafted and has been the franchise's starting quarterback in two of the past three seasons. A fierce competitor coming off of his best professional season as the team's starter, Brissett was not as excited, initially, as Hines about Rivers' arrival in Indy. It was no secret that No. 17 was brought on board to be the Colts' starter following a disap- pointing 2019 finish for Brissett, who led the squad to a 5-2 start and was even garner- ing midseason talk as an MVP candidate be- fore the team stumbled to a 7-9 final record. "I called Jacoby before it was announced," Colts head coach Frank Reich said follow- ing the signing of Rivers. "He wasn't happy about it, but he's a great teammate and a great leader, and I'm sure he'll be good." After the understandable initial frustra- tion wore off, Brissett appears to have taken the situation in stride and has formed a bond with his fellow NC State alumnus. 2020 NFL Preview Past Wolfpack Generations Meet in Indianapolis Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers is one of three former NC State players on the 2020 Colts roster, along with fellow quarterback Jacoby Brissett and running back Nyheim Hines (right). Indianapolis is tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the most Pack Pros on an NFL roster as of Aug. 30. PHOTO COURTESY INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

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