Sometimes people forget the young men who get recruiting attention early in their high school careers are still kids.
For Kettering (Ohio) Alter sophomore athlete CJ Hicks Jr., things have happened very fast from unknown prospect to one holding offers from 17 programs.
How has Hicks learned to handle the pressure and attention?
“It gets to me sometimes,” admitted Hicks. “But I’m learning how to handle it and stay humble.”
Friday night, Hicks and his Alter teammates got back on the winning side against crosstown rival Fairmont. How big of a game was the season opener?
“This was a really big win,” he said. “We loss two years in a row, so it was time to get the winning streak back.”
How did Hicks pick up his early offers?
“I attended camps at Mercer, Ohio State, Duke, Akron, Ohio and many others,” he said.
Are any of the schools standing out early in the recruiting process?
“It’s still early,” Hicks stressed. “None of them are standing out to me and I’m just blessed to have them.
Hicks, who sees himself as a future strong safety at the college level is looking to make several on campus visits in the coming months.
“I’m going to Ohio State, Cincinnati and I might go down to LSU in October,” he said. “In the spring I might go visit Miami and Florida State.”
With interest in schools several states away from home. Does Hicks see distance from home playing a factor in his future college decision?
“I’m not paying attention to the distance,” he continued. “As long as they can provide me with a great education, that is all that matters.
Since the end of last season, Hicks knows he’s grown as a player.
“Last year, as a freshman, I didn’t know what I was doing to be honest,” he said. “I was taking in the atmosphere. I was going against players who held offers and who were ranked. I was scared, I’m not going to lie. However, playing as a freshman helped me going to camps and helped me with my mindset to stay calm. Working in the weight room proved I could hang with those guys.”
Hicks is a major prospect to watch in the 2020 recruiting class and many are waiting for Ohio State to add their name to his offer list. In the meantime, Hicks and his Alter teammates will look to have another strong year and deep run into the playoffs.