Irish could offer high academic corner

Notre Dame assistant coach Mike Denbrock returned to familiar stomping grounds on Monday to check on three-star cornerback Elijah Hicks.

Back in 2014, Notre Dame signed tight end Tyler Luatua out of La Mirada High School in California. Irish assistant coach Mike Denbrock returned to the school on Monday with his eyes on three-star junior cornerback Elijah Hicks.

“He was talking with my coach and they were basically saying they had their eye on me,” said Hicks, a 6-foot, 185-pounder with 29 offers to his credit. “That was pretty much it. I guess they wanted to come out and see my size or whatever and it seems like they might make a move soon.”

Other offers on the table include Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington.

Notre Dame’s contact with Hicks prior to the visit was limited but the three-star shutdown corner hopes to hear more from the Irish in the near future.

“That's big time,” he said. “I love the academics at that school and how they're independent. They play high caliber teams right there. That would be a big offer right there.”

Luatua is home on summer break and attended a couple of La Mirada’s spring practice sessions. He shared some words of wisdom with Hicks.

“He actually told me I'd look good at Notre Dame,” Hicks said. “He made a joke out of it. I was like, 'yeah, I would.’”

Oregon and UCLA are among the other schools that have recently checked on Hicks.

Hicks will visit Stanford on June 14 and Vanderbilt on June 24. He’s already visited Oregon and Oregon State and just returned from an East Coast swing that led him to several Ivy League schools.

“I went to Yale, Harvard and Penn,” he said. “My brother graduated from Penn so I went out there for graduation. I went and checked out those schools along the way. I went out to Oregon before that and Oregon State.”

Hicks, who carries a 3.6 overall grade point average and locked down a 4.0 last semester, comes from an academic family.

His brother, Tony, played basketball at Penn and will spend a graduate year at Louisville to complete his athletic eligibility.

“He loved it,” Hicks said of his brother’s first four years of college. “He said it was challenging but it was a great decision that he made. He graduated but he had one more year of eligibility, so he's transferring to Louisville to play basketball. He had the chance to get an Ivy League degree and play on a big time stage at Louisville so he's really fortunate.”

Hicks won’t rule out a similar path.

“(Academics) will take a part into my decision but at the end of the day I want to make sure I have a good feel for the coaches and the environment and I just want to make sure it's the right fit,” he said. “I'm very thankful but I'm not a big fan of the recruiting process. I'm not saying I'm going to rush it but I would like to know what school I was going to already. I still have to look into it and make the right decision.” ranks Hicks as the 31st best cornerback in the country.

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