Inside the helmet of Braxton Hicks: What you don’t know about the 3,000 yard receiver
Braxton Hicks’ career, as has been well-documented to this point by us here at BLITZ, is arguably one of the best in state history at the receiver position. In fact, we took it upon ourselves to help compile numbers across the state as far back as 2000 among high school receivers for the Georgia High School Football Historians Association and its record books. In our research, one thing was clear…no one with known and recorded records has more TDs on the receiving end than the Rabun County class of 2020 athlete.
Still, there’s more than numbers to the UGA Preferred Walk-on Commit. First, we present you his career numbers. Then, we give you an inside look at the young man himself, in his own words.
3,490 career yards ranks 5th at the moment in state history. 46 receiving TDs ranks tops in Georgia history. Name another receiver to post back-to-back-to-back 12-plus TD seasons…we’ll wait!
Hicks is a winner, part of a dynasty at Rabun County that has won 6 straight Region Titles. Hicks was a big part of the last 4, leaving with a record of 48-5, losing only once in the regular season. That includes going 26-0 in region play, and playing in 4 straight quarterfinals games, including the 2017 state championship game run.
THE Q & A
Brian Carter: How much of a goal was it for you to reach 3K as a receiver, and what was that like when you hit that number?
Braxton Hicks: It was a huge goal for me to reach 3,000 yards. It was very rewarding. It was a lot of work for me to get to that point. I honestly did not know I was that close until mid season.
Brian: I heard you really wanted to pass TK [Tavarres King] from Habersham. How special was that for you since you grew up in Hab?
Braxton: Ever since a young age, TK has always been a role model to me. I have a lot of respect for him and the work he has put in to the game. He made my day when he came to my 8-year-old birthday party. It was very special to me to pass his yardage because TK has played college ball and in the NFL. I hope to follow in his footsteps one day and play in the NFL.
NOTE: TK had 37 career TD receiving and 3,270 yards.
Brian: When you came in as a freshman, how did you know that you were capable of playing at this type of historic level?
Braxton: As a freshman I had no idea. I knew that I had the athletic ability, but there was so much more that I had to learn to get to that level. The coaches at Rabun and other players around me helped me get to that level of play.
Brian: As far as recruiting, I know you got the UGA PWO [preferred walk-on] offer, but how much of a chip does that put on your shoulder to show others that you perhaps were underrated?
Braxton: It does somewhat put a chip on my shoulder because I want to prove to all of those other college coaches that I can play at the next level, not only the college level, but the SEC level. I really don’t think about being underrated or overrated, I just worry about what Braxton can take care of.
Brian: You’re a very easy target (pun intended) for opposing teams and fan bases. What does that feel like to sometimes take flack (like from Union & Habersham) because of your success? Does it get to you or is it a compliment?
Braxton: Oh by far it motivates me. I love to hear all the “flack” whether it be at the games or on social media. I knew what we were capable of as a team a Rabun County so that was just fuel to me. The love/hate that I have for Union/Habersham is more like fun to me and I really don’t take it that serious. I have a lot of friends from both counties.
Brian: How much credit do you give God, your family, and teammates?
Braxton: I give all glory to God, of course. My family has been everything to me. There is no way that I could have done it without them. They helped me every step of the way. My teammates, I can not say enough about them. I love everyone of the coaches and players that I have came across at Rabun County. Wildcat Football will always have a special place in my heart. I have been truly blessed to be a part of such a special football family.
Brian: What’s your goal for when you get to UGA to try and earn a scholarship for football?
Braxton: I will report in June and that is when I get to work. Coach [Kirby] Smart puts his best guys on the field and I plan to be one of those guys soon. When, I cannot tell you, but the day will come when I will be a scholarship player. My goal is to be a DAWG and represent Rabun County the best I can.
Brian: You’ve played with two of the greatest QBs in state history in [Bailey] Fisher and [Gunner] Stockton. I’ve asked this before of you, but what are the differences and similarities of both, and how much did their game help elevate yours?
Braxton: They are similar in a lot of ways. They are both leaders, winners, and both have great football mentality. I would fight to the end with either one. They both play the game different, but the end result will be the same, they will always be two of the greatest QB’s to play in the state of GA. It was an honor to play with both of these amazing guys.
Brian: What is your proudest moment as a Wildcat?
Braxton: Being on Varsity all 4 years and getting to experience the Friday Night lights. Nothing like it in the world. I want to thank Coach Lee Shaw for believing in me and putting me on the field.
Brian: What do you most want to be remembered for at Rabun?
Braxton: Just being a nice guy, being humble, and doing the right thing. I never put myself first, I always put others before me.
Brian: What is your favorite play and/or game of your career?
Braxton: Favorite game is easy, the State Championship . Rabun had never been before and we got to host it at our house. The result was not what we wanted, but playing in it was awesome. Favorite play was my catch against Spencer last year in the playoffs. Gunner threw a heck of a 50/50 ball and I somehow came up with the crazy catch, “The Blitz Play of the Year”
NOTE: In case you’re wondering, look no further than here:
Brian: Do you have any regrets?
Braxton: No I have none. I feel like I was able to achieve everything I wanted to at Rabun County.
Brian: What will you miss most about putting on the Rabun Co jersey?
Braxton: Man….That is a tough one. There is so much I could say here. I will miss the BROTHERHOOD more than anything. A lot of people talk it, but we at Rabun walk it. There is nothing that can replace that feeling.
Brian: What would you tell yourself if you could give advice to Braxton Hicks the freshman?
Braxton: If I could tell Braxton Hicks the freshman one thing I would tell him to enjoy every moment. Enjoy the coaches, the school, your teammates, and the BROTHERHOOD. It goes by so fast. You blink and it is gone.
I will leave you with this, as said by the one and only Coach Lee Shaw, “Long Live the Brotherhood”
Feature Photo by Thomas Askew