Hickson committed to the Wolfpack this afternoon at a press conference in the Wheeler High School Gym in Marietta, Georgia.
A consensus top 25 player, Hickson is rated the No. 3 center prospect in the country by Scout.com. The network has also tabbed him a five-star prospect and the No. 21 player overall in the class of 2007. National recruiting publications Hoop Scoop and Prepstars rate Hickson No. 14 and No. 20 respectively in the class of 2007.
Hickson received offers from NC State, Tennessee, Arizona, Georgetown, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, and Miami among others, but he narrowed his list to the Wolfpack and Volunteers after visiting both schools.
The addition of Hickson to the Wolfpack's 2007 class is especially important after point guard Chris Wright chose to verbal to Georgetown. Hickson joins in-state wing Johnny Thomas in NC State's class, and Sidney Lowe and company aren't done yet. Forwards Tracy Smith and Mike Scott continue to list the Wolfpack, and rising point guard prospect Christopher Warren has scheduled an official visit for next weekend.
At 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, Hickson has the size and ability to impact the NC State program right away. He could start from day one and has the potential to be a two-and-out player. With a roster in desperate need of star talent, Hickson fits the mold.
"In the last 10 years [J.J. Hickson] and Cedric Simmons are the most talented post players the program has recruited," said Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Dave Telep. "I think this is a guy with a huge upside who can score it, defend and impact games early in his career."
Sidney Lowe and assistant Larry Harris worked very hard to land Hickson, and the commitment paid off. Hickson didn't even list NC State among his teams for the first month of Lowe's tenure, but the Wolfpack remained after the five-star prospect and have now picked up a gem.
"Hickson is a guy with a long term goal of playing professionally," Telep added. "He's the kind of recruit a first year coach can hang his hat on."
Pack Pride will have more on Hickson's announcement, including quotes, audio, and photos in the near future so stay tuned!