Thursday, February 12, 2015

Rising star watch: Jamal Hicks

Jamal Hicks (Narbonne of Harbor City) doubles as a hard-hitting free safety on the football field and top scoring option for the Gauchos' basketball team (photo contributed). 
Narbonne (Harbor City) two-sport star Jamal Hicks has had a February to remember.

On Feb. 4, he came home to his first football scholarship offer from Colorado State. Then on Feb. 11, he led the Gauchos to an undefeated league season on the basketball court (12-0 mark).

But it's his football skills that has Cali Gold Mine convinced the gridiron will be his calling.

After watching his film, he could be a future Kam Chancellor for someone's secondary. Here's a closer look:

WHAT TO LIKE: He not only has imposing size at 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, but Hicks provides an intimidating aggressive presence in the Gauchos' defensive backfield. He reacts quick to plays across the middle, then lowers his shoulder for the highlight-reel blow. He gets in good position to swat down passes or grab the interception when offenses attack his side. Also valuable against the run because he'll take his angles and collide against a ball carrier.

WHAT TO BUILD ON: I need to see his ability to blitz, especially how he handles one-on-one blocks and if he can effectively shed blockers. He tends to stop his feet when making a tackle. He'll need consistency with keeping his legs moving after contact is made when attempting and finishing a tackle.

OVERALL: So far, Hicks is a sleeper in Los Angeles County with just one offer. That could change, though, with a big off-season and senior campaign.

More on Hicks can be seen here.

Stats: 62 tackles, 15 pass break-ups and 5 interceptions.

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