Saturday was a night of career highs for USF wide receiver Elgin Hicks.
Hicks put up career highs in receptions (5), receiving yards (132) and brought down his first career touchdowns, the first of which came early in the second quarter.
“I thought he did real well. Boy, he made some big plays, didn’t he? Some big catches; (he) really made some big catches,” USF coach Jim Leavitt said.
Hicks recorded two catches in the first half, including a 32-yard pass in the end zone to tie the game at 7. Early in the third quarter, Hicks collapsed after he caught a long pass from Ronnie Banks and came out of the game with a rolled ankle.
“I did that in two-a-days. It has just been something that has been bothering me since then, and I just re-aggravated it,” Hicks said.
Three series after the injury Hicks came back into the game, and with 14:12 left in the fourth he caught a pass, tiptoed the sideline and found the end zone 67 yards later. The long touchdown was the last scoring play of the game and was enough to keep NSU at bay.
“We called a post corner, the cornerback blitzed and left the safety over top, and he bit on the post and left the outside wide open,” Hicks said.
In 2000, Hicks transferred to USF from the University of Florida to be closer to his son.
“I have a son here in Tampa, so I felt like it would be best for his future for me to be down here closer to him,” Hicks said. “I just decided to forget about Florida and come down here.”
After sitting out the NCAA mandated season in 2000, Hicks struggled through academic eligibility issues in 2001, eventually playing the last six games of the season and recording four catches for 69 yards. Hicks again found little success in 2002, where he played all 11 games, but only recorded 21 catches for 250 yards.
“(He’s a) great guy, great player; he has worked hard this summer to get himself in shape,” Banks said. “Last year he had a sub-par season and this year he has stepped it up a notch, and you can see by the last two games he has definitely played to another level.”