During the early part of the 2005 football season, Bearcat fans have noticed a need for the recruitment of some offensive line talent. While Coach Dantonio and his staff went after some of the highest ranked Ohio high school linemen, it's the talent at the Junior College ranks that could be the fastest help for the program next season.
In some or most of his recent quotes, Coach Dantonio stressed his staff would be looking towards the Junior College ranks in search of talent to help the Bearcats compete in the upcoming seasons as younger linemen develop. Who and where will the Bearcats staff find the type of talent needed to shore up their offensive line? Why not Utah?
Bearcat Insider used all of its resources in finding a player being sought by the Bearcats football staff for next season. What we found was a 6'7" 285 lb. offensive linemen with a great story and the maturity level needed for a team filled with younger players.
Victory Haines has been around the world and back. The Snow College offensive lineman is not your everyday run of the mill football player. On the field, Haines knows the game and what to do, off the field, this young man knows life is more then just playing the game of football on Saturday afternoons.
What makes Victory Haines so special? Let's go back to when Victory was in high school and retrace his path in becoming a Division One football recruit.
Raised in Logan, Utah, Victory Haines was a 6'6 230 lb. kid who enjoyed playing football. Logan, home of Utah State, had a young man who found interest from several colleges. While one would think his path would be an easy one with Utah State in his own backyard, Victory felt Utah State assumed he would come to their program since his mother worked for the university. But Victory had other plans on and off the field and was confident other chances would come later in life.
After finishing high school (2001), Victory enrolled at Snow College for the first semester. Snow, a junior college located in Ephraim, Utah. allowed Victory the chance to take some classes as he waited to start the commitment he made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That commitment would allow Victory the chance to experience many things in his young life as he traveled off to Budapest Hungary for a two year mission. While there Haines learned life would be different but also exciting.
"Going to Hungary was a really good experience. I learned to speak Hungarian, which the military says is one of the hardest languages to learn. But I learned the language and in doing so it taught me to be patient and how to work at something." Said Haines.
But while two years away from football may have some learn to live without the game, Victory knew in time he would take the field again and work towards becoming a division one athlete. "When I entered Snow I was only there for a short time. I was around 230-240 lbs. and saw some interest from Utah State and Weber State in high school, but while I was on my mission I gained some weight and came back to Snow ready to play football."
On his return Haines was ready to play and Snow was eager to have him. Lining up at guard last fall, Haines showed his versatility since he was recruited as a tackle. This fall Utah State tried to sway Haines away when they lost one of their offensive linemen to injury. But Haines knew other program had interest and wanted to see where it may lead.
"I really like Coach Staten. He came out a few weeks ago right after the Miami loss. I first meet Coach Staten during a JCFootball.com combine. Coach Staten was there and I found out he's a great guy and I feel he's being honest with me about where I stand."
When asked if he watched the Miami game, Haines said he watched a little of it. "I saw some of the game. Coach Staten came out the day after the game. I could tell he was upset about the game. He played at Miami and knows a lot of people there so it was real important to him. I could tell Cincinnati has talent there along with coaches who have the right attitude. I was surprised by the number of true freshmen playing, but Coach Staten had said they were young."
Haines who is studying to be a Math teacher and football coach later in life also has some interest working in the field of broadcasting. "Our school has a radio station and I've called a few basketball games. People have told me I have a strong voice and how that is what‘s needed for radio." In talking with Victory you can see why he may have interest in this field. Victory has a strong voice and is very well spoken.
When asked about the type of player he is, Victory had the following to say. "My strength as a player is I know my assignments and have an understanding of the game. In high school I played tight end along with some defense, now I'm on the offensive line. I was recruited as a tackle, but last season we had a need for guard and I slid over and played there. This year I'm back at right tackle, so I've got knowledge of the game and know how to do my job. I feel my time at Snow has helped prepare me to be ready when I arrive at the school I chose. We had a lot of players come out of Snow and played division one football in the past. There's a lot of talent in our league (Western States League) so I feel I'll be ready."
In looking at Cincinnati, Haines said he's looking for the following to help him on where he goes. "I want a program that is dedicated to winning and who wants players with the same attitude."
Victory was quick to point out he's not made up his mind on what school will be right for him. "I like what I've seen and heard about Cincinnati so far. I feel I would have an opportunity to play right away and would fit in well with the coaches. But I'm not rushing into anything right now. I want to keep my options open and see what happens." When would Victory Haines enroll at his next stop? "I will have my associate's degree here soon and I'll transfer to the school I chose after the first of the year."
One of the great things about doing this job has always been getting the chance to speak with young men who know their priorities in life. If Victory Haines would become a Bearcat he'd bring a maturity level perfect for the youth of the Bearcats along with a 6'7 - 285 lb body ready to play along the offensive line.
I would like to thank Victory for taking the time and allowing us into his world during the recruiting process. While I'm sure Bearcat fans would love to see this young man wearing a UC uniform, I'm confident he's going to be successful no matter where he enrolls.