Outside the Huddle and Blitz are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2022 season.
Our highest preseason honor, the fourth-annual First Eleven profiles the top players (in the mind of Outside the Huddle) entering this fall.
No. 7: DE/LB/RB Julante Hinton, junior, Northrop
Hinton was so good as a freshman that he was named All-SAC First Team at defensive end, a tremendous achievement.
The scary thing is, Hinton has only gotten better and more versatile over the last two years.
When asked what position Hinton will play this season for the Bruins, one assistant coach simple said “Everything.”
The 6-foot, 215-pound Hinton has grown from simply a pass rusher to an overall defensive asset. Northrop moved him to linebacker during the season last year and the unit instantly improved, with Hinton flying all over the field. His active hands are some of the best in the area, an asset honed over the winters on the wrestling mat.
This season, expect to see Hinton on the outside up front in Northrop’s 4-2-5 scheme, capable of dropping back if necessary but bringing some chaos around the edge. Do not be surprised if you see him in the offensive backfield as well in a goal line role as new coach Quentin Bowen looks for new ways to use one of his top talents.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JULANTE HINTON
“Julante is a hard worker, a great leader and his motor never stops. He will do anything for his teammates.” – Northrop coach Quentin Bowen