September 15, 2006

Nicks well prepared for current role

Although very few people outside of the recruiting world had heard of Hakeem Nicks this time a year ago, he was making preparations then that would ultimately help him become one of North Carolina's starting wide receivers now.

At Charlotte (N.C.) Independence, Nicks was part of a spread offensive system that heavily utilizes the passing game.

As an underclassman, Nicks played behind current Georgia wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, one of the nation's top prep wide receivers.

Although Nicks was not a starter for the Patriots until his senior season, the UNC coaches had been tipped off on his potential by Independence head coach Tommy Knotts, and during the summer before his final year of high school, the Tar Heels offered him a scholarship, which he quickly accepted.

Under the tutelage of another former Charlotte prep standout, Nicks became the best wide receiver in North Carolina his senior season, leading the Tar Heel State with 1,819 receiving yards.

"We had a great wide receivers coach; Steve Shipp. He played down at Florida, under Spurrier," said Nicks.

"He critiqued us on every route, so we had great coaching; it was real good."

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