RECRUITING: Hicks going to UF's FNL?

Brandon Hicks took the last couple of weeks off to rest a sore shoulder. His high school coach gave the team a rest from workouts and Hicks used it to rest the shoulder and take somewhat of a rest from recruiting. The Jacksonville Forrest linebacker/receiver is one of the hot commodities on the southern recruiting scene so the time off was well deserved.

(See Brandon Hicks profile)

A family cookout for the Fourth of July kept him busy for the holiday and most of last week but Monday it was back to the grind as his high school started it's conditioning and training before August two-a-days. Outside of workouts it has been a relatively slow summer for Hicks. He was able to make one trip down to Miami that he really enjoyed.

"I only visited Miami so far," said Hicks, who made it to the FSU camp Tuesday. "It was an experience, I liked it. I really don't travel a lot and don't go many places. It is different from Jacksonville. It was more spice. It was a lot hotter down there.

"They had a little camp going on and during the last day I went to their workouts, so it was nice. I didn't work out or anything, but I met with the coaches and they told me to ask a lot of questions. My parents liked the atmosphere and the coaches. They liked it overall."

He grew up a fan of Florida State, but that doesn't seem to matter much to Hicks anymore. He liked the Noles because his parents were fans, but they know things may very well change and change soon.

"My parents were Seminole fans but they are very undecided now and are waiting to see what school I go to," he said.

The University of Florida is only 75 miles away and represents the closest big time program to his Jacksonville home. Hicks visited Florida already this year and will make a return visit in a couple of weeks.

"I am going to Florida for the Friday Night Lights (July 21) with my mom," he said. "I am going to stay over the next day for a Junior Day, too."

Hicks came to a spring practice in late March and really liked what he saw on the field. The players and the staff really showed the intensity that he thinks he puts forth every time he walks onto the football field.

"When I went down there for the spring practice, I liked how they really got after it at practice," he said. "It was fast paced and the players were going at it. I like to compete and that sparked my interest a lot.

"Urban Meyer says that I look like I love the game and I show it on the field. I don't boast about playing or anything like that. If you are around me I don't talk about football. I don't say anything about it."

His summer is almost set and he plans on saving the fall for schools that are a little farther away. Hicks plans on utilizing his five official visits to see schools that he normally wouldn't get to because of distance. As it stands now, LSU, Clemson, and Auburn look like the three of the five that will get official visits.

"As far as official visits I am going to take one to LSU and more out of state visits," he said. "I don't have any dates yet. I also want to go visit Clemson and Auburn. I am going to take unofficial visits to Florida, Florida State, and Miami in the fall. I just have never been out there and I just want to take some trips."

The three schools have found a way to get at him and make him want to visit.

LSU: "I am just going on what I see on TV and what people talk about, because I haven't been there yet. I talked to the recruiting coach and they want me to come down in the fall. They want me to see that place in action, because it is totally different."

CLEMSON: "Bobby Bowden's son Tommy. Every time they have a game they talk about him being Bobby Bowden's son. I met their coach (Dabo) Swinney. I talked to him on the phone and what he told me about Clemson I really liked. When I looked in the media guide I really liked it too."

AUBURN: "One of my coaches went to Auburn. He talks a little junk and will be in my ear regardless. I also talked to one of their coaches and he talked well about that school."

As for the last two visits, he is undecided.

"The last two visits I will wait to see what comes along."

All this interest as a football player may never have been if Hicks stuck with his favorite sport as a youngster. It didn't take him long to decide he needed to put on a helmet and shoulder pads and make a name for himself on the gridiron.

"Baseball was my main sport until I got to the ninth grade," he said. "I went to the JV team and I scored every game. So I finally decided I need to be a football player."

He is one heck of a linebacker prospect but he get plenty of attention for catching the ball. Hicks says most schools want him on defense, but some schools are looking at him maybe doing more.

"Clemson is talking about looking at me as a receiver sometime," Hicks said. "Most are saying linebacker and some as a safety."

His plan now is to get faster. His ultimate goal is to get down to the low 4.4's in the forty yard dash. It is something he is working on as much as he can. As far as a future school, Hicks says the school he picks will be the one that brings out his competitive spirit the most.

"Competition is going to be the big thing to get me to a school," he said. "I don't like to lose and I love to compete and win. Show me like they did at Florida, I want to see players compete against each other and talk about it afterwards."

Brandon Hicks is at the top of the recruiting board for the Florida Gators and many schools in the south. His reputation as an athlete and a head hunter precedes him. That ability can be seen on the following video clips brought to you by Gator Country.

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