Student Sports

Top 100 defensive end Noah Hickcox flips from Western Michigan to Minnesota to follow PJ Fleck

Top 100 defensive end Noah Hickcox flips from Western Michigan to Minnesota to follow new Gophers head coach PJ Fleck.

"So basically, I called coach Fleck around 9:30 PM tonight and he was saying that I would be receiving an offer from the University of Minnesota," Illinois defensive lineman Noah Hickcox said to GopherIllustrated. "Fleck went onto explain how proud of me he is for making my dream a reality. We continued to talk and he completely sold me on Minnesota, just like he did with WMU and I could not be more thankful. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me next and it will be an amazing experience to be a Golden Gopher."

"Coach Fleck sold me on just the whole campus and school itself, as well as his visions that he has for the program there at Minnesota," Hickcox told GopherIllustrated. "He also spoke on how he wanted me to come be part of the exponential growth that is going to happen there in the Twin Cities. After he offered me, I called my grandpa and had a conversation with my mom and him and we decided together that it is the best thing for me to grow as a person and as a football player at Minnesota. When I called back coach Fleck to commit, he was ecstatic and it was an awesome feeling. It's hard to describe. I could feel his excitement through the cell phone."

Coach Fleck is excited to be getting a physical player in Hickcox. 

"What coach Fleck has told me he likes about me so much is probably my physical play off the ball, and I always play with a high motor. He told me I play hard, but smart at the same time and he likes my ability to dissect a play as it developed and even before it happens. You know it's hard to explain everything that has happened in my life to a new coach, it's a lot easier to stay with the guy who's been with me through it all. Coach Fleck is such a charismatic guy, it's hard not to love him and want to play for him."

Hickcox is fulling a lifetime dream with his shot to play in the Big Ten.

"It's a vision I've had since I was a little kid, and when my dad got sick I promised him that I was going to make it to the Big Ten. That's a promise I intended to keep to him, and I was able to fulfill it tonight. It means more than you could imagine. I want Minnesota fans to know we're coming and Ski-U-Mah!"

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