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December 3, 2012

Coach on Hicks: You just feel better about yourself being around him

The call came on a Friday night, and aside from the doctor on the other end of the phone, Bob Wager was the first to find out.

The MRI results were in.

Wager, the head coach at Arlington Martin, would have to tell senior running back [db]Kyle Hicks[/db] his season was done after it was revealed he had a torn ACL.

As he gathered his words, Wager tried to put on a positive face.

Too bad he didn't need it.


"I'm the guy that's trying to build him back up the night I'm having to tell him he tore his ACL," he said. "But really, the only guy I'm building back up is myself."

Hicks committed to TCU on Monday, switching his pledge from Texas and giving the Horned Frogs their 15th 2013 commitment. It's been nearly a month since Hicks injured his knee Nov. 8 against Arlington Bowie, but the his mindset hasn't wavered since, even as he's set to have surgery Tuesday, Wager said.

"Kyle Hicks positive attitude is contagious," Wager said. "You just feel better about yourself being around him. I've never seen a situation where he allowed doubt or negativity to enter his mind."

So far, his recovery has gone well. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder was in good shape to begin with, and Wager said he thinks that will help him moving forward.

"First of all, at the time of the injury, he was in phenomenal physical condition," Wager said. "Any time you have an athlete, (physical condition) absolutely affects the recovery of that injury. That's coupled with a great work ethic, so I have no doubt he'll do everything physically to get back."

A former high school teammate of likely All-Big 12 defensive end Devonte Fields, Hicks also give TCU its first four-star commit of the season. Fields was a four-star last year out of Martin.

Still, the decision for Hicks to flip from Texas wasn't an easy one, Wager said. Hicks committed to the Longhorns in February and was the team's only 2013 running back recruit.

"It wasn't a hasty decision. It's something he's been thinking about," Wager said. "I think what's lost in this, is the anguish he felt when he had to tell Texas. This isn't a kid that's used to making decisions putting himself first."

That seemed to be the mantra that has marked Hicks' time at Martin, and the mindset TCU will get the next four-to-five years.

Wager still remembers the night he told Hicks he'd never play another high school game.

"The first words out of his mouth was not how this was going to affect Kyle Hicks, but how it was going to affect the Martin Warriors," Wager said. "That sums Kyle Hicks up. It was never a consideration of himself. That's the kind of football player TCU is getting."


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