ARLINGTON — The weight room at Arlington Martin High School was filled with energy as head coach Bob Wager introduced his four signees.
The introduction of his star running back echoed loud and clear: "One of the more dynamic players that the State of Texas has to offer this year, heading right down the road to Texas Christian University — Kyle Hicks!"
Hicks is considered a four-star recruit, and is listed at the top of his class for TCU this year. TCU has now signed 14 four-star recruits in the last five seasons after signing just five in the previous eight years.
"I want to thank all the other coaches," Hicks said. "Without them, I wouldn't be in this position that I’m in right now."
Last year, the Horned Frogs played in the Big 12 for the first time with a very young team.
One year ago this month, the school was involved in a campus-wide drug bust, an incident that TCU head coach Gary Patterson said had no effect on this year's recruiting class.
"I thought in the end because of the way we handled it, that it would actually turn into a positive, and I think it has," Patterson said.
When it comes to running backs, Hicks has been ranked as high as No. 3 in Texas and No. 21 nationwide. He said staying close to home was important to him and his family.
"My mom and her sisters and my grandma always come to every game, and it would be a lot on them to take that three-hour drive," Hicks said.
He's referring to a trip to Austin when he had burnt orange on his mind. In those days, he would flash a "Hook 'em Horns" sign when he scored a touchdown — but not any more.
Hicks showed up wearing a purple striped shirt and a purple bow tie.
"This was actually my mom," said Hicks. "I give her all the credit. She picked out the bow tie and the shirt. I told her I wanted to switch it up. This is actually my first time wearing a bow tie, so I said signing day, I’m going to switch it up. I'm going with a bow tie.”
TCU is glad he did.