Provo • BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae has said several times this spring that the offense he is installing will move so fast that three or four running backs will be required to ensure there's a fresh ball-carrier in the game at all times.
That's music to the ears of Adam Hine.
Hine is the forgotten man in the BYU backfield, after Mike Alisa emerged in 2011 and freshman Jamaal Williams stepped to the forefront last year when Alisa broke his arm in the fifth game. After redshirting in 2011 upon completing a mission to Panama, Hine barely played in 2012 due to a patellar ligament strain.
"It was frustrating," said the sophomore from St. George. "I had a little nagging injury that didn't allow me to try my hardest. Now I can give a lot more effort without having to worry about that little injury I had."
Midway through spring camp, Hine has arguably been the biggest surprise among the offensive players, showing well whenever he's been called on to carry the ball, or catch it out of the backfield.
"Adam has a multiple role," Anae said. "As a running back, he does all sorts of things. We are looking at him being a versatile, well-rounded back. So blocking, running, receiving the ball, the whole thing."
Hine, who was known as Adam Timo when he played quarterback for Snow Canyon High and was recruited by BYU as an all-around athlete, says he currently weighs 205 pounds and wants to put on five to 10 more pounds before fall camp starts in August.
"With the new offense, I think we are going to have quite a few running backs, running around a lot," Hine said. "I am one of the guys who are going to give it their best shot, see what happens. I am ready for whatever role they want me to play."
Friday, coach Bronco Mendenhall even mentioned how well Hine is performing in camp, without prompting.
"I really, really like the combination of Adam Hine and Jamaal Williams in the backfield," Mendenhall said.
Mendenhall said through three weeks of camp that Taysom Hill has separated himself in the starting quarterback race, "not necessarily by performance, but probably more by leadership."
However, the coach said Hill and sophomore Ammon Olsen "right now are fairly close in terms of production."
Mendenhall reiterated that "the ideal" would be to name a starter at the end of spring camp on April 5.
"I think [two weeks] will be enough time, but I don't want to be on record yet saying that will happen," he said.
More than 200 high school football coaches attended a daylong coaching clinic at BYU on Friday, from 10 different states, including faraway places such as Florida, Texas and Ohio. ... San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was in Provo for a corporate speaking engagement on Friday, and swung by the BYU football complex to meet up with Hill, who originally committed to Harbaugh when he was the head coach at Stanford. "He had remembered me, looked me up, and wanted to see me," Hill said. "We still have a great relationship. ... It is a relationship that will last from here on out." Hill said his transferring to BYU "did come up" in the conversation, but that "he didn't blame me for the things that happened" that caused Hill to leave Palo Alto.