August 14, 2012

Keegan Hicks Did Not Always Have Strong Feeling For BYU, Things Changed

Who better to have on the offensive line at Quarterback U than a pass blocking specialist? 6-foot-3, 290-pound Keegan Hicks is just the guy for the job. While the majority of his peers were spending their time watching Sponge Bob and playing video games in the 7th grade, Keegan was doing one on one pass blocking drills... against high school football players. "I'm coached really well for pass blocking, that's one of the things I've been working on. I've been doing one on ones since 7th grade, against high school kids. So I feel like I fit really well in their (BYU's) passing scheme because they do pass the ball a lot.

And while his current peers are using the L-word to describe how they feel about their high school sweet-heart, he uses the L-word to articulate his feelings about run blocking "I love run blocking, and I've been working on getting better at it, so that helps." Keegan has a passion for football, and he never stops at working to get better. "I'm always working at being faster and stronger... I workout at SPARQ and with a guy named Joe Henderson at Next Level Athletics, and they (BYU coaching staff) know I'm doing my part in the weight room."

But his passion for football didn't always mean a desire to play Cougar football. Keegan grew up a Utah fan, and it was his desire to get better and play division one football that lead to him eventually going to a BYU junior day. And once he had been to a Utah camp and a Cougar camp, he started to see the difference, and change preference. "The biggest difference honestly was the coaching. I felt right at home with the coaches at BYU, they were really nice and chill and cool. The Utah coaches I didn't really get the same vibe from I guess. So at first, to start off that first year of recruiting that was probably the big difference." He had been receiving interest and talking quite a bit to Colorado, Utah State, and Utah, but the Cougars were the first to offer and by then he was a BYU guy. So much so that he has been trying to do some recruiting of his own. He has been talking to other top players in the state trying to get them to join him to attend this Thursday's scrimmage, and hopefully come play with him at Lavell Edwards Stadium someday.

When asked what he liked about BYU's recruiting methods and the way that hey recruited, he said that "they were different in the fact that they only recruit people that wanted to be there... I thought that was really interesting because they stand up for what they stand for." And he didn't have to think twice to list what his 5 favorite things are about BYU. "The number one reason definitely is kind of coming from the church standpoint. You know, I prayed about it and honestly after being up there for some recruiting events I knew that that was the place for me.... Probably second, the coaching staff. I love Coach Weber, I love Coach Doman, I can't say enough about both of those guys, and all of the other coaches for that matter too. After committing I've gotten to know all of them really well... I love the coaching staff. Number three, I love all of the guys that are in my recruiting class. I've gotten to know a lot of them really well and I'm just really stoked to be able to play with good football players. Number four, I love the tradition up there, you know the national championship and how great they've been under Coach Mendenhall, all the top 25 seasons and stuff like that. Number five, the fan base is excellent, they fill up that stadium every week. And you know, there are BYU fans all over the country and I love it. There's five things right there that I love about BYU and I could probably keep going!"

Keegan is playing tackle at Bingham right now, but said that Coach Weber has been working with him on eventually playing center at BYU. "He (Coach Weber) says I'll probably play guard for the first year or two just to get me all ready for the system and stuff and then I'll probably switch over to center." But it will probably be a few years before CougarNation sees Keegan at center because he first plans to serve a mission. "I've been planning on going right out of high school, I've got an early birthday in September. So I've been planning on that but if BYU wants me to stay and play for a year or something like that then I'm definitely game for that too."

Keegan is definitely game for working hard, and if there's anything Cougar fans know about hard workers, it's that they're also usually gamers.

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