Texas A&M starting LB Anthony Hines opts out of season

Texas A&M will begin its football season on Saturday without starting linebacker Anthony Hines, who announced that he has chosen to opt out.

Hines' decision comes a week after the Aggies' leading receiver from last season, Jhamon Ausbon, said he would opt out to begin preparing for the 2021 NFL draft.

Hines, a junior, intends to return for next season. He cited COVID-19 and social unrest as reasons he can't maintain total focus on football right now.

In a tweet Monday, Hines explained that he lost someone close to him to COVID-19.

Hines was Texas A&M's second-leading tackler (73) last season.

He ranked second on the team in tackles for loss (10.5) and fourth in quarterback hurries (4).

Texas A&M opens the season at home against Vanderbilt on Saturday.