Born Nov. 16, 1989 ... enrolled in the Faculty of Arts ... played for the Sacramento City College Panthers in 2007 and 2008 before coming to the U of R ... was a Mid-Empire Conference first-team all-star in 2008 with SCC ... was ranked No. 4 among defensive tackles and No. 20 among all junior prospects in the 2009 junior college recruiting class by Rivals.com ... a 2007 graduate of Del Campo HS in Fair Oaks, Calif. ... drafted in the 10th round (48th overall) by the Omaha Nighthawks in the 2011 UFL Draft.
Hicks, a fourth-year defensive end, had a sensational season for the Rams and led the team in tackles - no small feat for a defensive lineman. The 6'5", 300 lb. product of Elk Grove, Calif. ended up with 35 tackles and set a University of Regina single-season record with 6 sacks. Hicks also broke up three passes and forced two fumbles during the conference schedule. Hicks led all players with 10 tackles in the team's Canada West semifinal game at Calgary.
Named a Canada West all-star in his first season with the Rams ... recorded 12 solo tackles and 17 assisted tackles ... had four tackles for loss and one pass knockdown ... forced two fumbles and registered 1 sacks ... had 3 tackles in the team's conference semifinal game at Calgary (Nov. 6).
- With no picks in the first two rounds and little to no ammunition with which to trade up, the Saints had to do what they could with what they had on the final two days of the draft. While they felt they already had their first-round pick, which they acquired on the first night of last year's draft when they made a deal to get running back Mark Ingram, they didn't feel all that bad about not having a full complement of selections. So when they finally went to work Friday night, the Saints looked first to defense where they needed a few pieces to help shore up a unit that gave up 41 and 36 points in their playoff losses in 2010 and '11. Two of their top three picks -- defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and cornerback Corey White -- will likely have to learn the ropes because they're coming from smaller schools. But the Saints have the luxury of doing that since they were looking for depth that can be groomed for the future. Hicks, however, might have a better than even chance at seeing some early playing time if he can pick up new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's system in a hurry. The Saints also did a good job of trying to add some depth where it was needed on offense -- taking wide receiver Nick Toon in the fourth round and mammoth guard Andrew Tiller and tackle Marcel Jones in the sixth and seventh rounds. BEST PICK Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks: The Saints added Brodrick Bunkley in free agency to pair with Sedrick Ellis, but they needed some more depth. Hicks is a raw talent, but the Saints love his size at 6-4 and 324 pounds and imposing wingspan. - The Sports Xchange
Full Akiem Hicks News Wire