They say when it rains, it pours.
There may not be a truer statement for Matoaca High defensive end Immanuel “Manny” Hickman.
Coming into this spring, the 6-3, 230-pound three star recruit didn’t have any scholarship offers. Now, he’s got a dozen.
“He may be a bit of a later bloomer,” coach Jay Parker said. “But he is certainly getting all that he deserves now. The kid excels in the classroom and in the community, in the school and on the field. His grades and test scores are high, and he works just as hard on his game.”
Since March, in no particular order, Navy, Campbell, Coastal Carolina, Alabama State, Fordham, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Liberty, Air Force, Towson, Norfolk State, UNC Charlotte, and most recently, Temple and Elon, have all offered a scholarship to the rising senior.
“He plays hard every play,” Parker said. “He takes it personally and loves his school and his teammates,” Parker continued. “Defensive ends like him want to take away the edge on the run and make big plays in the opponent’s backfield.”
And that’s exactly what Hickman did for the Warriors.
The influx of offers comes after a slew of camps attended by Hickman and a monster 2017 season where he was largely an under-the-radar prospect. Last year, he totaled 130 tackles and 10.5 sacks for Matoaca, forcing nine fumbles and recovering seven.
In a word, Hickman is a punishing defender.
If you ask Hickman, it’s about God’s blessings just as much as it is about his hard work.
“Everything that my family and I have been praying and working for,” said Hickman. “God is bringing it to pass.”
As for his game, well, there have been a few improvements.
“My speed and power have been improved a whole lot,” he said.
Hickman will work to lead the Warriors yet again in 2018, with a big decision looming that could come in the next few weeks or months.