Teenagers have forever left their parents wondering about them. Kelvin Hicks has yet to figure out his youngest son, Marcus.
“When he was little, we called him the Renaissance man. He’s one of those people who likes to do a lot of things,” said Kelvin Hicks, a deputy sheriff in Wichita, Kan., who served 23 years in the Kansas Army National Guard and did three tours of duty in Iraq. “I’m still trying to figure him out because I’ve never seen anyone like him. He’s different. That’s Marcus. I could say a whole lot about him. He’s my son, and I don’t even understand him. I’ve never been around anyone who can excel at everything that they try, and he likes trying different things all the time.”
Among his many talents, Marcus Hicks has come to excel at playing football. Along with his love of music, art and learning new things, Hicks is one of the top defensive ends in the country in the 2019 class — and there very much is mutual interest between him and Michigan.
Hicks (6-foot-5, 236 pounds) was on campus last week as he begins dissecting and researching the list of schools he says he wants to have down to around five by the end of the summer. It’s been a busy last couple of months for Hicks, who went to junior days at Texas and Texas A&M in February and also visited Ohio State last week. He has a trip to Nebraska planned for this coming weekend, and he said he enjoyed his time in Ann Arbor.
I thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to get a degree and play football at the next level. In no specific order, these are my top schools at this time. Thank you to all the coaches who believe in me. I am truly grateful. Marcus Hicks pic.twitter.com/vKBqNI7bwA
— Marcus Hicks (@harcus_micks) March 13, 2018
“It was amazing. They made me feel at home. All the coaches welcomed me with open arms, and I really appreciated the hospitality that they gave me,” said Hicks, who is rated as a 4-star prospect by the 247Sports composite. He is the top-ranked player in Kansas and the No. 15 weakside defensive end in the nation, according to the system. “By the end of this summer I want to have around a top 5. It doesn’t have to be exactly five, it could be four or six, but I want to have the schools I’m looking at then.”
Hicks told Land of 10 that he hasn’t decided whether he will take any official visits during the new open period that begins April 1 and runs through June 27. He said he does plan on taking an official visit to Notre Dame on Sept. 1 for the season opener between Michigan and the Irish.
When he’s not visiting schools, Hicks is competing in track and field for Wichita Northwest. He placed fifth in Class 6A (Kansas’ big school division) last year in the shot put and was third in the discus as a sophomore. He placed fourth in the state wrestling tournament in the 285-pound division. Although some schools have asked him about playing multiple sports in college, Hicks said he plans on focusing on football.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has welcomed multiple-sport athletes in the past. He has been open to them continuing to play other sports at Michigan if it works for all parties. Michigan’s 2017 class included wide receiver Oliver Martin, a state champion and nationally ranked swimmer, as well as linebacker Jordan Anthony, who played football and baseball at IMG Academy.
‘Well, at least he’s smart’
Hicks performed in the Wichita Youth Symphony when he was younger and plays a variety of instruments, including bass guitar, acoustic guitar and piano. The piano is his favorite.
“I think it’s something where if I’m stressed I can go to and it will help me calm down. It helps me a lot,” Hicks said.
His father used to see the picture his son would draw and think Marcus was tracing images.
“They were so perfect looking,” Kelvin Hicks said.
There was no tracing involved.
“One day, I saw him drawing and I didn’t see any other pictures, so I asked him where he knew to draw those pictures and he said ‘from my head,’ ” said Kelvin, his voice still tinged with astonishment. “That’s awesome. It was stuff he would see, cartoons or anything he would see he would remember it. It was the same with music. He’s very artistic.”
A lot of his drawings involved characters from the Japanese anime show Dragon Ball Z.
“A lot of people call it a cartoon but it’s not,” Marcus said. “I really liked that growing up and I’m still into it.”
He said he’d like to study graphic design or sports medicine when he does get to college.
Kelvin Hicks may not completely understand his son, but he is confident that whatever Marcus decides to focus his attention on, he’s going to be successful.
“When he was young, he was not athletic at all, so I didn’t think he’d be good at sports,” Kelvin Hicks said. “When he was little, he was slow, uncoordinated. I thought, ‘Well, at least he’s smart.’ He’s the youngest of my boys, and the others were fast and athletic. They were naturally athletic, but Marcus has something on the inside that I noticed and started realizing that no other kid had. There’s something different.
“He was always working hard, always working on himself trying to get better at everything. He was quietly going about his business no matter what it was. I’ve realized the last couple of years that he’s not going to have any problems in college because he’s the one that everyone trusts. If he’s supposed to be somewhere, he’s going to get where he’s supposed to get. He will go do things and you don’t have to get on him to do them. Just very mature for his age.”