La Mirada (Calif.) three-star cornerback Elijah Hicks has accumulated some impressive scholarship offers since last spring and he is now in the midst of truly weighing his options.
Saturday, Hicks took a drive to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to watch USC beat Colorado 21-17. It was Hicks' second trip to watch USC play this season.
“I know a lot of guys that play on the team, so I just wanted to go check them out,” said Hicks. “I grew up with guys like Jack Jones, so I just wanted to see how they’re adjusting to the momentum changes throughout the season.
“USC is one of those teams that I could go see every week just to do it because it’s USC.”
USC offered Hicks a scholarship roughly a month after his Rising Stars Camp performance in June. Since then, USC assistant coaches Ronnie Bradford and Clancy Pendergast have been in weekly contact with Hicks.
“I know a lot about USC, and with Jack getting recruited, I was with him at multiple juniors days and other events,” said Hicks. “There's not too much more I can learn about USC.
“The coaches mainly talk to me about how I can make an impact there. How my style of play fits their system.”
With inside player sources at both USC and UCLA, Hicks is very deliberate when discussing favorite schools.
“USC and UCLA have always been there because you go to the games or watch them on TV,” said Hicks. “With that rivalry and having both just down the street, you’re around them so much you know a lot of people who went to each school. You know all of the big names that came out of those schools.”
Hicks inside knowledge of recruiting and college life opened his eyes to a factor that will weigh heavily on his decision come signing day.
“Academic support and academics in general are really important,” said Hicks. “I’ve learned more about networking and how schools help you after football.”
Thus, several of the schools putting their best foot forward to land Hicks have good academic reputations.
“I like Northwestern, Notre Dame, USC, UCLA, Washington, Cal… those are some of the schools that have been recruiting me the hardest,” said Hicks, who carries a 3.7 GPA. “I’m more of the thinking that I’ll take unofficial to USC and UCLA, then officials to schools out of state.
“Financially, I don’t have a lot of money to spend on seeing those schools on my own, so I would like to use those official visits to experience schools farther away. This upcoming week I have an official visit to Notre Dame set up.”
Hicks trip to South Bend (Ind.) will be his first official visit of the recruiting process.
“My main thing is seeing what the players have to say about the school,” said Hicks. “Not necessarily after a win either. I’d like to talk to them after a loss. See their reaction to that situation.
“I want to see the environment outside of football as well, so I want to tour the campus. I want to sit down and talk to the coaches. It will be the first time they meet me in person, so it will be good to get a feel for each other.”
Notre Dame is in a good position to be among Hicks favorites schools when it comes time for him to make a decision.
“Like USC, Notre Dame is a school with great tradition,” said Hicks. “It’s a good academic school like USC, and they have a strong alumni base.
“Notre Dame and USC are both struggling this year, but you know they’ll find a way to get it going. They’re just one of those schools.”