Nicks Biography

Giants.com has a biography of Hakeem Nicks:

OVERVIEW

The revival of the Tar Heels football program under head coach Butch Davis became much easier, thanks to the production of a veteran laden receiving corps that was led by Hakeem Nicks. Having led the team in receptions in each of his three years at the university, Nicks’ importance to the team’s success was never more evident than when he had to step in to fill the leadership void created by the season-ending injuries to Brandon Tate and Brooks Foster in 2008.

 

CAREER NOTES

Nicks started all 36 games he played in for the Tar Heels…His 181 receptions topped the old school career-record of 177 grabs by Jarwarski Pollock (2001-05) and rank 13th in Atlantic Coast Conference annals…His 2,840 yards receiving broke the previous Tar Heels all-time record of 2,447 yards by Corey Holliday (1989-93) and placed Nicks eleventh on the ACC career-record chart…His 21 touchdown receptions bettered the old school all-time record of 19 by Octavus Barnes (1994-97)…Produced 74 receptions in 2007, topping the UNC season-record of 71 grabs by Jarwarski Pollock in 2003…He became the first player in school history to gain over 1,000 yards receiving, as his 1,222 yards in 2008 topped the previous Tar Heels record of 990 yards by Sam Aiken in 2003…His twelve touchdown grabs in 2008 broke the old school annual record of nine scoring grabs by Marcus Wall in 1994…Registered ten games with at least 100 yards receiving, best among active Atlantic Coast Conference players…Nicks’ 217 yards receiving vs. West Virginia in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl were the second most by a Tar Heel, and he became just the third player in school history to post a 200-yard receiving game. Nicks joined Randy Marriott (247 vs. Georgia Tech in 1987) and Octavus Barnes (211 vs. Ohio in 1995).

2008 SEASON

All-American honorable mention by The NFL Draft Report and Rivals.com…Earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors from the league’s coaches, media and Associated Press…Started all thirteen games at split end, leading the team for the third consecutive year, as he caught 68-of-105 passes targeted to him (64.76%), setting school season-record with 1,222 yards (18.0 avg) and twelve touchdowns…Ranked second in the league with an average of 5.23 catches per game and led the ACC with an average of 94.0 yards receiving…49-of-68 catches produced first downs (72.06%), as he converted 19-of-25 third-down tosses (76.0%) and all three fourth-down passes targeted to him…45 of his receptions (66.18%) was good for at least 10 yards, with 23 of those grabs gaining 20 or more yards (29.41%)…Had key receptions that set up 19 touchdown drives and five other series that ended with field goals…Registered 43 yards with a score on seven carries (6.1 avg), adding 134 yards on seven kickoff returns (19.1 avg)…Recorded a pair of solo tackles by taking down defenders after UNC interceptions in the Virginia Tech clash…Also scored 78 points…Finished seventh in the conference with an average of 106.92 all-purpose yards per game.

2008 GAME ANALYSIS

McNeese State…Nicks opened the season by hauling down six passes for 110 yards, marking the sixth time in his career that he gained over 100 yards receiving in a game…
He also returned a 20-yard kickoff in the second quarter…In the final stanza, he snared a 71-yard seam pass from QB T.J. Yates that set up Greg Little’s 5-yard touchdown run that capped a 5-play, 89-yard drive…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught four passes that resulted in first downs, converting 1-of-2 third-down plays, as two of his catches gained at least 10 yards.

Rutgers…The split end scored twice on six receptions for 63 yards…T.J. Yates found Nicks with a 9-yard scoring toss in the second quarter, followed by a third quarter 11-yard flag pass for a touchdown that concluded a 68-yard, 7-play series…Offensive Impact… Nicks caught four passes that resulted in first downs, converting 2-of-2 third-down plays, as three of his catches gained at least 10 yards.

Virginia Tech…Nicks followed with 51 yards on four grabs, including three for first downs, but his heads-up play prevented a pair of Tech defensive scores…Nicks’ third-&-7 grab of a 16-yard pass set up a UNC 27-yard first quarter field goal…He kept a third quarter series alive with an 8-yard gain on a fourth-&-5 grab…Tech’s Vic Harris picked off a Mike Paulus pass at the Tech 2, where Nicks tackled the safety with 10:42 left in the game…On the next series, Paulus was again intercepted, but Nicks stopped cornerback Stephan Virgil at the UNC 16 after a 14-yard return…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught three passes that resulted in first downs, converting 1-of-2 third-down plays, as three of his catches gained at least 10 yards.

Miami…Nicks amassed 133 yards on five receptions, coming up with another long distance grab to stake the Tar Heels to a 28-24 decision…With nine minutes left to play, Mike Paulus uncorked a 74-yard bomb that the split end ran under for a touchdown… Offensive Impact…Nicks caught four passes that resulted in first downs, converting 1-of-2 third-down plays, as five of his catches gained at least 10 yards, including two for 20 yards or longer.

Connecticut…Nicks was held to just three catches, but gained 55 yards, including a 13-yard fourth quarter score that capped a 7-play, 39-yard possession, as the receiver made a sensational stab along the corner boundary on a third-&-goal toss…Offensive Impact… Nicks caught two passes that resulted in first downs, converting 2-of-2 third-down plays, as three of his catches gained at least 10 yards, including one for 20 yards or longer.

Notre Dame…The junior wide-out collected his second 100-yard performance for the season, taking down a season-high nine passes for 141 yards…Nicks set up a trio of UNC field goals, as his 31-yard grab led to a 41-yard three-pointer in the first quarter, followed by a 21-yard catch that led to a 34-yard second quarter field goal and finally, his 13, 10 and 18-yarders set up an 42-yard field goal with 0:52 left before halftime…Nicks also snared a third-&-18 pass for 19 yards, setting up Ryan Houston’s 1-yard scoring plunge in the third stanza…Record Watch-Nicks’ 141 yards marked the eighth time in his career that the receiver gained over 100 aerial yards, a school career-record…His nine catches gave him 146 for his career, moving into fifth place on the school all-time record list, as his 2,171 yards rank fourth on the career receiving chart…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught nine passes that resulted in first downs, converting 3-of-3 third-down plays, as seven of his catches gained at least 10 yards, including three for 20 yards or longer.

Virginia…Nicks turned the ball over after fumbling a reception, but also tallied 90 yards on six catches…His 21-yarder set up a 1-yard scoring run by tailback Ryan Houston in the first quarter…15, 10 and 23-yard receptions in the fourth quarter set up UNC’s 40-yard field goal that staked the team to a 10-3 lead with 2:22 left in regulation…Record Watch-Nicks moved to fourth place on the school career-record list with 152 catches and now ranks third with 2,261 yards receiving…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught four passes that resulted in first downs, converting 2-of-3 third-down plays, as four of his catches gained at least 10 yards, including two for 20 yards or longer.

Boston College…The offense woke up in the second quarter, led by Nicks’ three touch-down catches for a 45-24 triumph…He finished with 139 yards on eight catches, adding 31 yards and a score on three carries…QB Cameron Sexton located the split end with a 26-yard scoring strike to start the second frame action…With 2:17 left in the half, Nicks had a 40-yard touchdown catch. UNC got the ball back from an onside kick and Nicks quickly converted a 43-yard pass into another score to see the Tar Heels go to the locker room at halftime with a 24-17 lead…In the fourth quarter, he capped a 66-yard, 10-play series by taking a reverse 12 yards for a touchdown…Record Watch-Nicks’ 139 yards gave him 2,400 aerial yards for his career, ranking second in school history…His three touchdown catches were one shy of the school game-record of four scoring grabs by Chesley Borders vs. Arizona State in 2002…With his fourth quarter scoring scamper, he became the first Tar Heel to score four times in a game since tailback Ronnie McGill scored four times vs. Furman in 2006…Asked to describe Nicks’ performance after the game, head coach Butch Davis said, “I think fantastic would maybe describe it. He is one of the unique, special guys I have seen that the bigger the moment, the bigger the stage the better he plays. He is such a fierce warrior. He just catches the ball so well. He has got great concentration. There are a lot of guys who can catch the ball on the perimeter. But if you watch over his three-year career there are balls that he has to catch where there are safeties and middle linebackers over the middle and his run after the catch is extremely strong. He is just a very good football player.”…QB Cameron Sexton chimed in, “That kid is unbelievable. I mean me and Hakeem have always had kind of a special bond, and I just know I have to get him the ball. I think he’s got a pretty good idea of how good he’s going to get. Like I’ve always said all year, and I’ll say it through my entire career here – all I got to be is the middle man and just be efficient and not make mistakes, get those guys the ball. Those three touchdowns, maybe on one of them I worked the pocket pretty good, but other than that it was all Hakeem.”…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught four passes that resulted in first downs, converting 0-of-0 third-down plays, as five of his catches gained at least 10 yards, including three for 20 yards or longer.

Georgia Tech…With the loss of fellow receiver Brandon Tate with a season-ending injury, Nicks scored once on three catches for 72 yards to pick up the slack, leading UNC to a 28-7 win…The split end was held to no receptions in the first half, but when it counted most, he came up with a fourth-&-2 31-yard touchdown catch that sealed the 28-7 victory with 4:11 left in the contest…After the game, head coach Butch Davis stated, “Hakeem Nicks is one of the best, big stage players I’ve ever been around. He loves to compete. He loves to play. What the fans and the media sees on Saturday is just a minor glimpse into what we see during the week. Every single day during practice, he runs his routes like that, he makes circus catches. He’s a great leader.”…Record Watch-Nicks’ 72 yards gave him 2,472 for his career, moving ahead of Corey Holliday (2,447 yards, 1989-93) to become the school’s career record-holder…His scoring grab was the 17th for his career, good for third on UNC’s all-time record chart…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught three passes that resulted in first downs, converting 1-of-1 third-down plays and 1-of-1 fourth-down snaps, as three of his catches gained at least 10 yards, including two for 20 yards or longer.

Maryland…The junior split end made three catches for 57 yards, setting up a first quarter 38-yard field goal with a 26-yard reception…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught three passes that resulted in first downs, converting 1-of-2 third-down plays, as three of his catches gained at least 20 yards.

North Carolina State…Nicks fumbled once after a reception, but also caught four passes for 56 yards…Record Watch-Nicks’ four receptions gave him 170 for his career, seven short of the school all-time record of 177 by Jarwarski Pollock (2002-05)….Offensive Impact…Nicks caught three passes that resulted in first downs, converting 2-of-2 third-down plays and 1-of-1 fourth-down snaps, as two of his catches gained at least 20 yards.

Duke…Nicks grabbed three passes for 38 yards that included a 25-yard touchdown that ended a 15-play, 80-yard second quarter possession…Record Watch-Nicks became the first player in school history to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in a season, breaking the old school annual record of 990 yards by Sam Aiken in 2002…His scoring catch gave him nine for the year, tying the school season-record that was first set by Marcus Wall in 1994…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught two passes that resulted in first downs, converting 0-of-1 third-down plays, as one of his catches gained at least 20 yards.

West Virginia (Meineke Car Care Bowl)…Not even Hollywood could script a better ending to a collegiate career. Nicks hauled in eight passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns… His first score was the most bizarre. QB T.J. Yates’ deep heave over the middle was under-thrown and nearly intercepted by Ellis Lankster, but the ball went through his hands and Nicks caught it behind him, then started to celebrate about 15 yards shy of the end zone. That allowed Keith Tandy to catch up, but Nicks wrestled away from him for the 73-yard touchdown, his school-record 10th of the season…Three minutes later, Nicks caught a 66-yard touchdown pass from receiver Cooter Arnold on a trick play, setting North Carolina’s career touchdown record with his 20th…Nicks’ 25-yard scoring catch from Yates early in the second quarter was his 178th career reception – another school record – and gave North Carolina a 23-21 lead…Record Watch- Saturday was a record-setting performance for Charlotte native Hakeem Nicks, who finished with eight catches for a career-best 217 yards and three touchdowns. In the process, Nicks became the sole owner of Carolina records for career receptions, career touchdown receptions, single-season touchdown receptions, bowl game receiving yards and bowl game receiving touchdowns – all in the first half. Nicks now holds 14 UNC receiving records…Nicks’ 217 yards receiving were the second most by a Tar Heel, and he became just the third player in school history to post a 200-yard receiving game. Nicks joined Randy Marriott (247 vs. Georgia Tech in 1987) and Octavus Barnes (211 vs. Ohio in 1995)…With first-half scoring catches of 73, 66 and 25 yards, Nicks established Carolina season and career touchdown reception records. His twelve touchdowns in 2008 and 21 for his career moved him past the 19 scores Octavus Barnes pulled down from 1994-97…Nicks entered the game tied with Marcus Wall (1994) with nine touchdown grabs in a season…The third touchdown catch of the first half by Nicks was the 178th reception of his career to give him the UNC career reception record. With the grab, he moved past Jarwarski Pollock, who caught 177 balls between 2001-05. Nicks holds UNC records for receptions (181), receiving yardage (2,840) and receiving touchdowns (21)…With his 217 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns, Nicks broke a pair of UNC bowl game records. Octavus Barnes held the school record with 165 yards in the 1994 Sun Bowl against Texas. Ted Leverenz (vs. Texas Tech, 1972 Sun Bowl) and Barnes (vs. Virginia Tech, 1998 Gator Bowl) shared the previous UNC record with two TD catches in a bowl…Offensive Impact…Nicks caught six passes that resulted in first downs, converting 3-of-3 third-down plays, as four of his catches gained at least 20 yards.

2007 SEASON

All-American honorable mention by The NFL Draft Report, adding All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors…Started all twelve games at split end, missing the bulk of the second half vs. South Carolina with a high ankle sprain…Still managed to lead the team and set a school season-record with 74 receptions, as his 958 yards (12.9 avg) rank third on UNC’s annual record chart…Scored five times and carried once for a 1-yard loss…
Ranked third in the league with an average of 6.17 receptions per game, as he also placed second with an average of 79.83 aerial yards.

2007 GAME ANALYSIS

Hauled in six passes for 77 yards and a score vs. East Carolina…Gained 113 yards on seven receptions that also produced a pair of scores vs. Virginia…Made eight catches for 94 yards vs. Virginia Tech and followed with 76 yards on five grabs in the Miami clash, a game where he executed a devastating block that leveled two Hurricanes on a 54-yard reverse by fellow receiver Brandon Tate…Despite suffering an ankle sprain, Nicks made eight catches for 114 yards vs. South Carolina…He added nine receptions for 87 yards vs. Wake Forest and totaled 88 yards on eight grabs that included a 30-yard game-winning touchdown in a 16-13 decision over Maryland…Snared five passes for 56 yards vs. North Carolina State and tallied a season-high 162 yards on seven receptions and a 14-yard score in the Georgia Tech game…Closed out the season with six catches for 38 yards vs. Duke.

2006 SEASON

Freshman All-ACC first-team choice by The Gridiron Report…Started eleven games as a true freshman, sitting out the South Florida contest with an ankle sprain…Led the team with 39 receptions for 660 yards (16.9 avg), both school season-records for freshman, as he also tallied four touchdowns…Added 10 yards on a reverse, two solo tackles and 101 yards on five kickoff returns (20.2 avg)…Averaged 70.09 all-purpose yards per game…
Ranked eighth in the ACC with an average of 3.55 receptions and third with an average of 60.0 yards receiving per game.

2006 GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Nicks began his career with 63 yards and a score on seven catches vs. Rutgers…Snatched six passes for a then career-high 171 yards and a pair of touchdowns vs. Notre Dame… Had seven grabs for 117 yards and a career-long 83-yard score to give UNC a 45-44 win over Duke in the season finale.

HIGH SCHOOL

Attended Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Tommy Knotts…Super Prep and EA Sports first-team All-American…Ranked the eighth-best player in North Carolina and the 22nd-best wide receiver in the country by Super Prep as a senior…Named MVP of the Class 4-AA state championship game after leading Independence (15-0) to a 38-19 win over New Bern, coming up with eight receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns (11 and 80 yards) in Independence’s 92nd-straight victory. He never lost a game in his high school career…North Carolina Associated Press All-State and Charlotte Observer Offensive Player of the Year choice…Rivals.com rated him the state’s fourth-best prospect as he received membership to North Carolina’s Shrine Bowl team, where he caught a 37-yard touchdown pass among his three catches for 42 yards… In his final season, he led the state with 93 receptions for 1,819 yards and 20 touchdowns, including 10 in the playoffs…That year, he had three straight games with ten or more catches.

PERSONAL

General Studies major…Son of Lisa Mason and Robert Nicks…Stepmother is Vernice Simpson…Born 1/14/88…Resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.


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