(See Brandon Hicks profile)
Hicks brings exceptional athletic ability and outstanding speed to the National Champions and will help replace a depleted linebacker corps. With as few as four remaining scholarship linebackers from last year's team on roster, Hicks was a huge need and should see playing time immediately.
The phone call today to co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who recruits the Jacksonville area was short but exciting.
"I talked to Coach Mattison and I told him today that I was committing and he was really excited about it," Hicks said. "He is very excited and was going to call Coach (Urban) Meyer and tell him. I only got to talk to him for a second because I was just getting out of church."
It really was a tough decision for Hicks who was weighing his options between Miami and Florida. For the last few weeks he's gone back and forth on the decision.
"I really liked the home visits, but it was tough because I really liked Miami," Hicks said. "I talked to my mom and dad about what we liked on the home visits and the official visits. It was hard because I liked Miami in the beginning and then I really started liking Florida more.
"It was also hard to choose because I liked the players and coaches at both schools. I didn't know what to do, so I thought about it and prayed about it. I talked to my parents and my aunts and uncles. It was kind of funny seeing what their reactions were like."
Hicks' immediate family finally got some time together away from all of the pressure and just talked about the process and where it has led them. In the end, as a group, they all thought that Florida was the better fit.
"It all came down to last night, my mom, dad, and I talked for about an hour and a half and we made the decision together," he said. "I am going to be a Florida Gator."
He is excited about the opportunity to play for a hard nosed defense. He visited Gainesville a few times and watched the Gators practice. That excitement is multiplied with the opportunity to come in right away and compete for playing time with the low numbers at the linebacker position.
"I loved the fast paced practices," he said. "There were no super long ones, everyone was competing at practice and I really liked that. Now I know I have a chance to really play early. I am not saying I will start right off the bat, but with the playing time on the table like that I feel like I can take advantage of it. I know I will play hard every time I get on the field."
Playing hard and fast is what Brandon Hicks is all about. This is the reputation he has and why the Gator staff has been so high on him from the beginning. This is his simple explanation on how he plays the game.
"I will be hard hitting, going fast, and getting to the ball every time," he said.