Hakeem Nicks- Charlotte Independence
Charlotte Independence’s Hakeem Nicks is another gifted wide receiver that emerged from the Patriots’ record-setting program.
Nicks’ most successful year in high school was his senior year, due in large part because he had shared the field with record-breaking receiver, Muhammad Massaquoi, his first three years. During Nicks’ senior year, he was the primary target and a key part of the Patriots' 2005 undefeated season and sixth of seven consecutive state championships. He led the state that year with 93 receptions for 1,819 yards and 20 touchdowns- 10 of which came in the state title run.
In the state championship against New Bern, he hauled in 205 receiving yards and added two touchdowns earning him MVP honors. His 1,819 yards is second on the state’s all-time list for receiving yards in a season. A 1st-Team All-American, Nicks next moved up I-85 to Chapel Hill where his success would only continue.
Operating as a featured receiver from the time he set foot on campus, Nicks started all 36 games he played in and subsequently etched his name in Tar Heel football history books. His hands of legendary size reigned in the record for most receptions by a freshman (39) and sophomore (74). Among the many highlights for Nicks was his 2008 1st Team All-ACC season when he tied the single-season record for receptions by a senior (74) and set the single-season record for both receiving yards (1,222) and touchdowns (12). His 1,222 receiving yards made him the first receiver in school history to hull in more than a thousand receiving yards.
In his final game in a Tar Heel uniform in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl against West Virginia, he became the sole owner of 14 school records including career receptions (181), receiving yards (2,840), and touchdowns (21) as well as bowl game records for receiving yards (217) and receiving touchdowns (2). When he was drafted 30th over-all by the New York Giants in the 2009 NFL Draft, it consummated one of the most productive careers in Tar Heel Football history.
Hakeem Nicks, with his exceptional performances, has earned a spot as one of the “Names in the Books.”