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BYU's Hinds recovering from pair of hip surgeries, eager to contribute this fall

PROVO — During his freshman season at BYU in 2014, Troy Hinds started to notice pain in his hips.

He played through the pain and saw action in 12 games as a backup linebacker. Then two weeks before spring ball started a year ago, the former Davis High star noticed the aching in his hips had increased.

“I got the MRI and it showed that it was bad,” Hinds said. “I tried to make it though spring ball but it got worse and worse.”

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound sophomore underwent surgery on one hip last April and he underwent surgery on his other hip in August.

As Hinds recovers, he has been limited during spring practices.

During his prep career and during his two-year LDS Church mission to Mississippi, prior to enrolling at BYU, Hinds never had trouble with his hips.

“I never noticed anything. It’s kind of weird,” he said. “I’m doing good now. It’s just waiting for them to get healthy. It was kind of a wear-and-tear issue. I had bone spurs in both of them that ended up doing damage to the labrum and cartilage and everything. It’s been getting used to the new hips.”

Hinds is also getting used to a new position. Under first-year coach Kalani Sitake, Hinds, along with others who played outside linebackers under coach Bronco Mendenhall, have been switched to the defensive line.

“I’ve moved to defensive end and I like it,” he said. “It’s where I mostly played in high school so it’s good getting back to that.”

Meanwhile, Sitake said there’s a chance Hinds could wind up on the offensive side of the ball.

“He’s doing good. He can play a lot of different positions, too. He’s still not full-go yet,” Sitake said. “We’ll see what he transforms to be on this team, whether it’s tight end or defensive end. We’ll see. I think he can play D-end, outside ‘backer, tight end, he can do a lot of different things. He’s a great talent.”

Hinds, a former four-star recruit — Rivals.com rated him as the No. 14 defensive end in the country and No. 2 overall prospect from Utah — is optimistic about the future despite his setbacks.

“It is very frustrating but I’ve kind of put it behind me and moved on,” he said. “Now I’m just trying to get ready for the fall. I can’t really dwell on it too much or else it will eat at me. That’s the goal now, just to get ready for the fall. I’m pretty close to 100 percent. It’s waiting to be able to go full-go. I’m getting really close.”

Yes, Hinds has been waiting a long time for his opportunity to make an impact. He was part of the same 2012 recruiting class as senior running back Jamaal Williams.

Hinds likes the new defensive approach implemented by the new coaching staff.

“Scheme-wise, it’s totally different. As far as flying around, running to the ball, it’s not super-different,” he said. “It’s simpler than a Bronco (Mendenhall) defense. It’s easier to grasp. It’s a fresh start for everyone.”

During his mission to football-crazed Mississippi, he grew to “love the people, the culture, the southern food. No matter where I served, everyone lived for football. It was good to have common ground with them.”

While talking to people in Mississippi the fact that he was a football player “would come up a lot. It was good to have something to talk about.”

Hinds is eager to get fully healthy and play football again — instead of just talking about it.

EMAIL: jeffc@deseretnews.com