In this new VYPE 17-week series we follow various teams with state championship potential to see how they do week in and week out. Against stiff competition, district opponents and more. This week we take a look at Klein Collins High School
Klein Collins has been a really good program in the greater Houston area the past decade but have yet to reach the state title game. The Tigers reached the State Semi Finals in the 2016-2017 season but have not been there since. This season the Tigers have been playing with something to prove. Their first district Game is against cross town rival Klein Oak for homecoming. Quarterback Tucker Parks has the offense rolling and the Tigers have the talent to make a deep playoff run. Is this the year they play in Week 17?
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Welcome to another week of H-Town High School Sports with Todd Freed
This Week's Game of the Week Presented by Fred Haas was full of exciting Plays as Clear Springs beats Dickinson in a tough District Matchup!
Be sure to check out H-Town High School Sports Saturday's at 10:30pm on CW39 Houston, plus, throughout the week on AT&T SportsNet. CLICK HERE for more great video content from H-Town High School Sports.
KATY—The maroon Texas A&M football helmet David “DJ” Hicks Jr. placed on the table in front of him in the Paetow High cafeteria Wednesday after verbally commiting to the Aggies live on ESPN has been in his room since 2011, when his father won it at a raffle and gave it to his son.
Hicks’ first big-time offer was from Texas A&M. The first big-time camp he attended in eighth grade was Texas A&M’s.
So, while Oklahoma was thought by several recruiting sites to be the heavy favorite to land Paetow’s 6-foot-4, 270-pound five-star defensive end, perhaps the Aggies were simply fate.
“I’m really at a loss for words, pretty much,” said Hicks, the country’s No. 9 overall prospect and the No. 1 player in Texas for the class of 2023. “It was (A&M assistant head coach/defensive line coach) Coach (Elijah) Robertson and everybody else there and how close it is to home.
“I’m excited, and now I can focus on my senior year. I want to go to state and then go to A&M and do the best I can to the best of my ability.”
\u201c.@PaetowFootball 5-star DE @DJ2g23 talks about picking @AggieFootball. #txhsfb @KPRC2RandyMc @KatyISDAthletic @PaetowSportsMed @PaetowHS @TexAgs @katyisd\u201d— VYPE Houston (@VYPE Houston) 1664398478
Hicks chose A&M over the Sooners, Michigan State, Oregon, Miami, Alabama and Texas. As a child, his dream school was Texas. But once the recruiting process started in the eighth grade, it was all A&M.
“It’s the Aggie network,” said his father David Sr., an assistant coach at Paetow and former linebacker standout at Grambling State who played a year with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. “It does a great job of prepping him. It started at his old school (Morton Ranch High). The principal there, Ms. (Julie) Hinson, is an Aggie. Coming here, (Paetow principal) Ms. (Mindy) Dickerson is also an Aggie. (A&M) do a great job with the network and surround that program with great people, like Coach Robertson and (A&M defensive ends coach) Coach (Terry) Price. Having that stability and building that relationship over time helped him grow into wanting to be an Aggie.”
David Sr. said he and his son started seriously training and working out when DJ was in the sixth grade. Initially, DJ was undersized for his age. But as he hit a growth spurt, the Hickses started attending camps, camp tours and more camps.
“He caught COVID (in 2020), went into his two-week quarantine and came out of it 25 pounds bigger,” David Sr. said, laughing. “I don’t know how. COVID weight, I guess. He played the next season 40 pounds bigger.”
Hicks—who played his first two years of high school at Morton Ranch, played his junior season at Allen and then returned home to finish his career as a Panther—will be joining teammate and Paetow four-star linebacker Daymion Sanford at A&M.
Sanford, who said Hicks is “very smart and very physical,” said he didn’t try to influence his teammate’s decision in any way.
“He told me he’s been going up there since he was in eighth grade,” Sanford said. “That alone says it all.”
\u201c.@PaetowFootball 5-star DE @DJ2g23 picks @AggieFootball. #txhsfb @KPRC2RandyMc @KatyISDAthletic @PaetowSportsMed @PaetowHS\u201d— VYPE Houston (@VYPE Houston) 1664397348
While Hicks has the physical tools for stardom, coaches and teammates said it’s the intangibles that separate him.
“The first impression was the first day he got here,” Paetow head coach Lonnie Teagle said. “He came in with all the stars and all that and he came in humbly. He fit right in and started working. There’s some guys who carry an aura and are big-headed, and he just fit in. He’s one of the most humble stars I’ve been around.
“He’s not satisfied with just being talented. He wants to maximize it and is always working. He’s always the last one off the field after practice and always doing the extra. That’s what makes him elite.”
“It’s the way he works,” David Sr. said. “When you have talent and you work like you don’t have talent, that’s when you really get it. I’ve never seen anyone outwork him. He’s always on time. He’s never made a ‘C.’ He’s humble. He never has an attitude. He’s like the dream kid.”
Paetow 5-star senior defensive end David "DJ" Hicks Jr., middle, smiles as his parents look on Wednesday after Hicks verbally committed to play for Texas A&M.Dennis Silva II | VYPE Media
Hicks said after the first game of his sophomore season at Morton Ranch, when he received his first collegiate offer from SMU, he knew was going to play college football somewhere.
“It’s been crazy, especially starting so young when I was in the eighth grade to now,” he said. “I’m glad I finally found home.”
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