The Longhorns have an opportunity to make a long-lasting impression on athlete Kyle Hicks (Arlington, Texas/Martin) at their first junior day on Sunday.
Why? Well it could be the only junior day he is able to attend for some time.
Hicks wants his family involved in the process, which is why he will visit Austin with his mother, grandmother, aunt, cousins and a friend. But his mother’s work schedule might not allow her to accompany him to any others.
“I was invited to LSU last week and couldn’t go. I’ve also been invited to Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. I’m not sure if I can go because I have to work around my mom’s work schedule so she can drive me down there.”
Hicks, though, isn’t so much concerned with the future as he is the present, and the opportunity to get a better feel for what Texas has to offer.
“It’s definitely an honor to get an invite to the first junior day,” Hicks said. “I am really happy about it. I’m excited to get down there.”
The Longhorns extended Hicks the invite earlier this week. Although he is listed as an athlete, Hicks believes he’ll be recruited as a running back. He proved his worth last season by rushing 217 times for 1,667 yards and 26 touchdowns and also catching 19 passes for 236 yards and two scores as a junior.
But he’s also showed the ability to be a very successful defensive back as well. It’s a position his head coach, Bob Wager, knows he can play at the next level.
“I think as a defensive back, and granted you’re talking about a time where he’s 15 years old and playing 5A football in the Metroplex on a team that went three rounds deep,” Wager said. “He hadn’t played corner a day and we just basically, midway through the summer, we threw him out there. And he gets district newcomer of the year.
“He can play anything he wants. He was the district newcomer of the year as a sophomore at corner. I think he was one of the elite running backs in the state last year as a junior.”
That versatility and similar build make it easy to compare Hicks to former Martin athlete, Danzel Williams, a former Under Armour All-American that signed with Oklahoma in 2011. Hicks hears the comparisons often but isn’t doing any of his own.
“A lot of people compare us but I’m not trying to compare myself to him,” he said. “He did his thing at Martin and I’m trying to do mine. He was a great player.”
If offered on Sunday, Hicks doesn’t think he’d be ready to commit on the spot.
“I’d probably go talk it over with my mom and make my decision whenever I am ready,” he said. “I’ll know when it’s time.
“Sometimes I just want to get it over with but other times I just want to enjoy the recruiting process and take my time. I have no idea when I’ll commit. There could be a day when I wake up and decide it’s time to commit.”
Whichever school that ends up being is getting one heck of a player, according to Wager.
“This is a 16-year-old junior, and he’s benching 315 pounds yesterday,” Wager said. “This guy is going to be a freak.”