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Provo • Not many 16-year-olds know which road they want to travel in life.

BYU running back Adam Hine was an exception.

When he was a sophomore at Snow Canyon High School in St. George, Hine committed to the Cougars.

After he evolved into an All-State football player and record-setting track star, Hine drew recruiting attention from other schools, including Utah and Stanford.

But he stuck with BYU.

"It felt right," said Hine. "It was a quick decision, but it was something I really thought through. I felt like this was the place I needed to be. I can talk through the standards and everything else, but it's just the perfect place for me. That's what I thought."

Hine (pronounced HEE-nay) graduated from high school in 2009, served an LDS Church mission in Panama and redshirted upon his return to BYU.

Last year as a sophomore, Hine averaged finished 12th in the country in kickoff returns (27.2), setting the stage for a solid start this season as a backup to Jamaal Williams.

In BYU's first two games, Hine carried 10 times for 44 yards. He ran for two second-half touchdowns in BYU's 41-7 victory at Texas on Saturday night.

"The O-line has been doing so good — pushing so much," Hine said. "On those touchdowns I've had, I pretty much walked in. … There's no one else I would rather run behind."

Hine's mother immigrated to the United States from the West African country of Togo when she was 17.

Five months later, Emily Timo moved to Sacramento, where she married. She eventually had three children, including her youngest, Adam.

"She's had a great influence in my life," Hine said. "She's been a great example for me growing up."

When he was 15, Adam's mother and father divorced. Emily moved her children to St. George.

"… She played the part of both mom and dad for me when I was in high school," Hine said. "She's had a great influence on me just by toughing through, grinding through the hardest times. She's been great."

According to coach Bronco Mendenhall, Hine's ability to contribute to the offense has added depth the BYU's backfield and taken some of the workload from Williams.

"I love our stable of running backs," he said.

Said Hine: "We have a lot more experience. We have a lot more confidence and I think that changes it up a lot. We have guys who are hungry [and] ready to play."

BYU's next chance is Thursday night in its home opener against Houston.

"We see a physical, tough and fast defense," Hine said. "… But we're preparing hard — like it's the Super Bowl."

Another step in his personal journey?

"I've grown so much," Hine said. "I attribute a lot of that to meeting my wife and getting married. And I attribute that to BYU."

Twitter: @sluhm —

Houston at BYU

P Thursday, 7 p.m.


Gaining ground

BYU rushing leaders so far this season (minimum 10 carries):

Yds Avg TDs

Taysom Hill 196 5.4 5

Jamaal Williams 89 4.7 0

Algernon Brown 64 5.3 0

Paul Lasike 51 5.1 0

Adam Hine 44 4.4 2