The Newest Buffalo Bill: Nyheim Hines

The Newest Buffalo Bill: Nyheim Hines

Nicholas Smith, Staff Writer

Nyheim Hines is ready to a huge contributor for the Buffalo Bills. 

Nyheim Hines was just an ordinary guy living in Garner, North Carolina. He was a student athlete in high school, playing football. He also had a job just like anyone else; he would work at his local Bojangle’s during the football off-season. He lived a normal life, until it was flipped upside down. 

In 2018, Nyheim Hines got drafted into the NFL by the Indianapolis Colts. He was selected in the fourth round and was the 104th pick overall, but let’s rewind to where his story started.  Nyheim attended Garner Magnet High School, where he played football. He then committed to North Carolina State to play both college football and track. 

At Garner Magnet, Nyheim Hines was an outstanding player. By the time he finished his senior season, he had accumulated a total of 15 school records. He had a total of 6,242 rushing yards (7,299 total) and 126 touchdowns. Among his 15 school records, he accumulated 7 touchdowns in a single game, twice. To this day he still goes back to his old high school to remember his days there. 

Following his high school career, he decided to commit to North Carolina State, where he competed in both football and track. In his freshman year, he made his Track debut at the Vanderbilt Invitational, where he ran a 6.88 in the 60 meter dash. He earned Second Team all-ACC honors with a sixth place finish in the 60 meter at the Conference meet. He also participated in the Ken Taylor Invitational where he placed second, and ran a season best 6.74 in the 60 meter. He finished out the track and field season by earning All-American honors in the men’s 4×100 race. In football, he played both WR and RB in his freshman year. He had 243 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown, as well as 20 catches for 256 yards and a receiving touchdown by the season’s end. 

In his sophomore season at North Carolina, Nyheim continued to dominate in football as well as track and field. In track and field, he was shattering his own records. He recorded his fastest career 200 meter, scoring one point for NCSU and finishing 8th, with a time of 21.41. He also broke his personal record in the 60 meter dash, with a finishing time of 6.71, amazingly he got Second Team in the men’s 60 meter, scoring a time of 6.81. But he wasn’t finished; he acquired a Doc Hale VT Elite invite. This is a huge meet at Virginia Tech, where only the best get invited. Nyheim had put in the work on the track and it paid off, as he finished first overall in the 200 meter dash. In the football season, he once again played both RB and WR, but specialized in receiving. He accumulated 525 receiving yards on 43 receptions, while also having an additional 44 rushing yards. 

The following year, Nyheim entered with the intent to dominate in football. He still competed in track and field, but his focus was mainly on football. Hines decided he wanted to play RB full time, and it was a great decision. He finished the 2017 season with 1,113 rushing yards, as well as 12 touchdowns on the ground. He was dominant during this season, taking home First Team All-ACC Honors. He was supposed to do track and field again after the season, but his performance earned him an invitation to the 2018 NFL Combine. He was incredible at the combine, and most notably his 4.38 time in the 40 yard dash was first among all other running backs at the combine that year. When talking about his combine experience to cbs4indy.com, Nyheim said, “It was like a big All-Star game. You enjoy the moment of being around all those great guys.” It was clear that this meant a lot to him, he also foreshadowed a little bit when he said, “I was catching passes from Josh Allen,” who is now his quarterback on the Bills. 

During the interview portion of the combine, Nyheim was very nervous. He knew that teams would invest millions into players who had potential, and he wanted to make sure he would deliver. The most important part of the combine interviews are the teams making sure that players are healthy. He met with 7 teams during this process, and they all made him get checked out, conducting physicals and wellness checks. He had a few ankle sprains, and an AC joint sprain, but compared to everyone else, it was nothing. In an interview from cbs4indy.com, Nyheim added, “I was so healthy that people almost wouldn’t believe me… They just rattle off a list of your injuries. I was hearing about some other players, how one guy had a knee reconstruction, had torn his ACL, and I was like, ‘Holy cow.’ It was kind of crazy. I felt like I had been blessed. A lot of guys went through a lot of stuff. I didn’t have much.’’ 

Going into the draft, Hines had only spoken with the front office of seven teams ranging from the Titans, to the Rams and to the Eagles. The Eagles Offensive Coordinator at the time, Frank Reich, was plucked away by the Colts to become their head coach. While Reich wasn’t with the Colts during the interview process, he was able to add new insight to players he interviewed with the Eagles. During the process of finalizing their draft board, the Colts had a ton of interest in Nyheim, and with the 104th overall pick, they took him. Nyheim was ecstatic that he was going to the Colts, but confused. In an interview with cbs4indy.com, Nyheim said, “I don’t know how they didn’t talk to me and still drafted me. They played everything pretty close (to the vest).”

So far in his five-year career, he has 2,934 total scrimmage yards, as well as 17 touchdowns. In the summer of 2022, he signed a 3 year extension with the Colts, worth a total of $18 million. He was set to be a huge contributor to the offense this season, but things went south and he got traded. He was sent off to Buffalo to play for the Bills in exchange for another RB by the name of Zack Moss and a 6th round pick. So far in his five weeks with the Bills, he hasn’t played many offensive snaps to make a huge impact, but has made his presence felt in the return game. In his six punt returns with the Bills, he has a total of 80 yards on 6 returns, averaging 13.3 yards per return. While as a kick returner, he has 4 returns for 104 total yards, averaging 25.5 per return. His career is only starting, but he’s made strides into becoming a superstar in the league.

When Nyheim was traded to Buffalo, there were a ton of emotions going through his head. Obviously, he was sad about leaving his team in Indy, but was overjoyed by being able to go to an NFL powerhouse. On his Twitter a day after the trade, Nyheim tweeted, “Feels great to be in Orchard Park, happy and honored to be here.” It is safe to say that he is happy about the trade, and excited for the future.

 

* Image from BuffaloBills.com