“It’s a great experience to have and to be a part of,” Hicks said. “Those kids are big, fast and strong. It’s a different level and it almost felt like I was back in the NFL. It’s a lot of the top 300 players in the nation all in one place. It was truly a special thing to be able to coach all of those guys.”
David Hicks Sr. and D.J. Hicks had a unique opportunity over the past week.
The father and son have spent plenty of time as player and coach, but they had a different and new type of opportunity as Hicks Sr. coached in and D.J. Hicks played in the Under Armour All-American game on Tuesday.
It was a great chance for Hicks Sr. as a coach, as he had a chance to be the linebackers coach for Team Phantom in the game and coach some of the top recruits in the country.
“It was just awesome the entire time,” Hicks said. “It was really a once in a lifetime opportunity. To be around that much talent and so many great players and coaches, spending a week with them everyday. It was just amazing. You’re learning about all different parts of the world, I coached a kid from Finland and I coached another kid that was a world championship wrestler. It was really amazing.”
But more than that it was a chance for Hicks Sr. to see his son compete against the top talent of his class and seeing D.J. Hicks prove himself against some of the best competition he’s faced was something that Hicks Sr. will never forget.
“It was so cool to see him just be around truly high-level talent at all times and still when I watched him he stood out and you could see he really belonged,” Hicks said. “It’s just so cool to see as a dad and you could just see his level of play rise as he got to the occasion. It was great to see him compete out there.”
The week gave Hicks a chance to be among other top coaches as well, and he took the chance to continue to grow and hone in his own skills.
“It definitely helped me grow,” Hicks said. “As a coach, as an individual, being around that can only raise your own level. It really taught me a lot just being around everything that week, seeing the other coaches, coaching those types of players. It was something I can take and grow from.”
The game itself ended in a 14-7 win for Team Phantom and D.J. Hicks was named one of the top performers in the game and of the week, despite constantly being double teamed. And taking part in that game was a joy for both of the Hicks.
“It’s a great experience to have and to be a part of,” Hicks said. “Those kids are big, fast and strong. It’s a different level and it almost felt like I was back in the NFL. Everyone there is a big dude, it’s a lot of the top 300 players in the nation all in one place. It was truly a special thing to be able to coach all of those guys.”