Long list of reasons led CB Elijah Hicks to Notre Dame visit

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

The power programs in Los Angeles wouldn’t mind keeping Elijah Hicks in California next year, but the defensive back recruit from La Mirada High School likes the idea of leaving the state.

“I kind of want to get out,” Hicks said. “Those schools (USC and UCLA) are great schools, and I grew up liking those schools a lot, but I want to try something new and get away. Try something different, a different kind of experience that normally you wouldn’t get.”

That thought process has led to Notre Dame securing a spot as a top option for Hicks. The 6-foot, 170-pound cornerback will make his first trip to South Bend this weekend. He’ll fly out of California late Friday night with his parents for an official visits.

“It’s one of the schools I’m really interested in,” Hicks said of Notre Dame. “It’s a big-time, historically great college. I wanted to check it out for the first time.

“Even though they’re struggling this year, it’s one of those schools that won’t have too many losing seasons, especially once they get it all together. The coaches are really recruiting me hard. It’s a great academic school. The alumni base is strong. I thought I needed to go check it out myself.”

The list of reasons Hicks named for his visit is influenced by his relationship with Notre Dame defensive backs coach Todd Lyght.

“We’re always talking,” Hicks said. “It’s probably as strong of a relationship as anybody that I’m getting recruited by.”

Hicks has also had conversations about the Irish with Notre Dame junior tight end Tyler Luatua, who attended the same high school as Hicks.

“He really likes the place,” Hicks said. “He as well was telling me how much I need to come and check it out.”

Defensive back remains one of Notre Dame’s top priorities to finish out the 2017 recruiting class. While many project Hicks as a cornerback, he could also play safety.

Rivals ranks Hicks as a four-star recruit and the No. 27 athlete in the 2017 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 82 cornerback.

“They like me in the secondary, especially because I could play corner and safety,” Hicks said. “I can do punt return. I can even play some offense if they need me. I’m just a really versatile player, and they like that.”

In seven games at La Mirada this season, Hicks has caught 10 passes for 109 yards and three touchdowns and recorded 20 tackles, three tackles for a loss, two interceptions and one blocked field goal on defense. He was clocked with a time of 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash at The Opening Regional in Los Angeles.

Hicks said he is already well-versed in what Notre Dame, who extended him a scholarship in August, can offer him. But he knows his parents will come armed with questions.

“It will be good for my dad and my mom to ask questions that they feel like they want to know,” Hicks said. “We’ll check out the campus of course and see how I feel around the area and the players.”

A commitment could come at any time, Hicks said. He’s already made an official visit to Northwestern and is considering trips to Michigan and Washington. But if the Irish impress this weekend, those visits could be scrapped. He’s not ruling out anything.

“Whenever I feel like I have the best fit,” Hicks said of his commitment deadline. “Say if I really like Notre Dame, I’ll come home, talk it over with my family probably for like a week and let all the coaches that recruited me know. Then I’d probably announce it.”

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Cornerback Elijah Hicks, a 2017 recruit, committed to Notre Dame in October. (Photo courtesy of Student Sports)