August 21, 2012

Hicks hopes to stand out'

As a high school senior, Quayvon Hicks was to standing out from the rest of the crowd.

Now a freshman at Georgia, the young fullback seems determined to do the same in college, too.

"When you're in high school, you love getting stars, you love the hype. But once you get to college it means nothing, unless you produce," said Hicks, a former three-star performer. "It's either you be the hammer or be the nail, and I want to be the hammer and prove myself and show the coaches that I'm capable of getting out there on Saturdays."

This isn't the first time Hicks' name has been mentioned since arriving on campus with the rest of the freshmen in early June.

From the beginning when Bulldog veterans were asked which freshmen were impressing during summer 7-on-7 drills, Hicks always seemed to be one of the youngsters mentioned.

"My goal was to be the best I could be as a person and be prepared to play," he said. "There's high expectations, even for me being one of the guys that really was not talked about. But that just gave me the drive to work hard every day and impress the coaches and my teammates."

Currently, Hicks is one of a handful players hoping to earn playing time at fullback with the Bulldogs come fall.

As of now, that job belongs to Merritt Hall, although it's not a stretch to think the 6-foot-2, 263-pound native of Blackshear getting his opportunity before too very long.

"As far as my progression, Merritt Hall, Dustin Royston, Zander (Ogletree) and even Richard Samuel are giving me pointers on a day-to-day basis," Hicks said. "They've been unselfish and teaching me the right things to do, not just to perfect but be able to get out there to do the right things. Sometimes, it's not knowing what to do but knowing how to do it. They've played a big role in helping me progress."

"That's a big kid," Samuel said. "Once he gets everything down, he's going to be something to watch."

Still, there's plenty of learning yet to be done - not only from the standpoint of technique, but from defensive teammates anxious to see just how good the young freshman wants to be.

"When I first got here, a lot of the seniors who were bragging on me, they pretty much welcomed me to college, you might say," Hicks said. "(Coach Mark) Richt told me I was anxious, I wasn't getting my steps right, so I was getting put on my behind a lot but now they see that I am capable of doing some things. It's a competition every day - see who can put the freshmen on his butt. I'm trying my hardest to keep working."

Quayvon Hicks, meet Professor Alec Ogletree.

"Tree … man," Hicks recalled. "Going against him was a wake-up call because I was used being the one getting to run people over, not being run over so he let me know right away that the skill level is a lot different. He's been in college and he's got that technique to put somebody on his behind no matter how big you are."

But Hicks believes he's starting to adjust to the level of competition he now finds himself in.

"I played defense pretty much all my life so converting to fullback, I just love contact," said Hicks, a former defensive end/linebacker who is playing offense for the first time in his life. "I would say it's not the same as playing defensive end or linebacker, there's more technique involved, but I love hitting. We have the best defense in the nation and our linebackers, they bring it every day. I have to step my game up to make them better and make myself better."