Feeling the love

Sacramento City College defensive lineman Akiem Hicks was not on many Tiger fans' radars at the start of the 2009 recruiting season. Now, however, LSU fans know all about the 4-star standout and future Tiger.

As a sophomore, Hicks led the Panthers (6-5) to a Mid Empire Conference championship and was a first team all-conference selection.


The big 6-5, 295-pounder recorded the most tackles for loss of all Panther defensive linemen with seven, and he recorded 33 tackles in nine games.


With his season wrapped up, Hicks is turning his focus into welcoming the Tiger coaches to his west coast home.


"I have been doing awesome since my visit for the Alabama game," Hicks said. "Now I am just excited to start seeing the coaches again. Coach [Earl] Lane actually came out here this week, and I was his first visit. That shows me that LSU has nothing but love for me."


Hicks said that next week's visitors show an even greater appreciation.

Akiem Hicks is an LSU Tiger

"Coach [Les] Miles and coach [D.J.] McCarthy are coming out to see me next week," he said. "I am obviously really excited about that. There is nobody on the staff that I don't love, so it is great getting to spend time with them out here."

Hicks was able to meet the staff in full for the first time during his trip to Baton Rouge for the Alabama game.


The visit also marked his first time in the stands of a college football game.


"It was funny because I had never been to a college game before," Hicks said. "The wait was worth it because that game was amazing. I didn't really want to be in the stands, though, because the entire time I was jumping out of my seat trying to get a uniform on and get out there and play."


When Hicks actually took the field during games at Sacramento City, he felt that this season was one of his toughest.


"I could feel everyone gunning for me, because people started to know who I was," he said. "I worked through it though. I had the best offseason of my life last year, so that helped. And even better, when I get to LSU I will have the best offseason of my life once again."


With graduation set for the spring, Hicks hopes to get onto campus next summer in time to compete for a starting job.


"That is the plan right now," he said. "I have been working hard, so I am going to show them what I got and see if I can get in there and play. I will be out of here at the end of May, so I will be an LSU Tiger as soon as June begins."

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