N.C. State freshman Nyheim Hines has focused his energy on learning how to play receiver. That means he has had to temporarily retire his “Matrix” flipping skills.
Hines posted a video on his Twitter account May 29 of a backflip with a twist he did while reaching out and snatching a football with his right hand.
The trick looked like a CGI-enhanced outtake from the Keanu Reeves movie. Hines said gymnasts call the flip a “full.”
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Hines’ video was a twist on the rash of videos posted by other college players of doing a “normal” back flip and catching the ball (including one of UNC’s Ryan Switzer).
“I saw a lot of people doing the ‘backflip catch,’ ” Hines said. “I’ve been able to do that since seventh grade so I just really got frustrated and wanted to show what I could do.”
The 15-second clip was retweeted more than 1,200 times and favorited more than 1,100 times. Hines said he landed the flip and catch on the first six attempts.
“But I’m a perfectionist so I wanted to get the landing a little bit more clean, so I went back over it a couple of times,” Hines said.
Hines isn’t the only freshman who can pull off the twisting flip. Big running back Johnny Frasier, all 5-11 and 230 pounds of him, said he can do one.
“Oh, yeah, but I don’t do it anymore,” Frasier said. “Coach would kill me.”
Hines, who’s about 40 pounds lighter than Frasier, said he believes Frasier and doesn’t need visual proof.
“I don’t want him to do it now, wait until after college,” Hines said. “We need him.”