He has led the team in tackles two out of his three years at Murray State. This year, he has a good chance to do it again.
Senior Brandon Wicks will line up in his familiar position in the secondary as a safety this Saturday when the team travels to Missouri.
Even before Murray State, Wicks was a standout player on defense. He spent his last two years of varsity football at Murray High School.
The transition was easy, he said, because Murray is a small community where everybody knows everybody.
“I still communicate with a bunch of people from my past and they watch Murray State games,” Wicks said.
Wicks has friends that attend Murray, and Head Coach Chris Hatcher recruited him heavily.
“I really believed in the new change that was coming through here and I knew we were going to do great things,” Wicks said.
Three years later, Wicks is still at Murray State and he said the team is prepared for the season.
“I think we’re ready but we’ve got two more days of practice,” he said. “That’s going to get us mentally ready, so that’ll make us better.”
Developing a connection with fellow players is important, Wicks said. He stayed in Murray over the summer and spent several days in the weight room with teammates.
He said he tried to build chemistry with them because they had to work hard on the new defensive system.
Wicks said getting in the right mindset and growing mentally is also a huge key to success. That is a part of his game he has been working on since he was a freshman.
“I just feel like I’m improving from the mental aspect,” he said. “I’ve been seeing a lot of things from different teams over the last four years.”
Wicks has put a great deal of dedication into his role on the team. He said that is probably one reason his teammates chose him as one of this year’s captains. He said it means a lot because it shows great signs of respect.
“I’ve been around here a long time,” Wicks said. “My teammates believe I’m the best choice [to be one of the captains.] That lets me know that they believe in me, and I’ve just got to go out there and prove myself.”
This Saturday, Wicks will lead the defense in Columbia, Mo., as they take on the Tigers.
He said the game should be a great learning experience for the team.
Wicks said he has many things to look forward to and a few new goals for his last season with the Racers. His main goal is to finally earn the ring as Ohio Valley Conference Champions.
First, though, he said he wants to make sure they win the games they should have won last year, and even beat some teams he hasn’t beaten in his time at Murray State.
“Trying to beat up on somebody else,” Wicks said. “I’m looking forward to that.”
Wicks said the most important thing, though, is to be mentally ready, finish every game and just have fun.
Story by Ryan Richardson, Sports Editor