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Nicks focused on present, not future

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CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina receiver Hakeem Nicks said recently he hasn’t decided yet whether he will jump to the NFL next year because he wants to concentrate on this season.

Meanwhile, coach Butch Davis doesn’t plan to talk to him about it until after UNC plays its final game of the year.

“Hakeem and I have had discussions prior to the start of the season, and after we had those discussions, it’s ‘play as great at you can, don’t worry about that.’ When the season is overwith, he and I will sit down with his family, we’ll take a look [at it] realistically,'' Davis said.

“I’ve had ongoing conversations with a high percentage of the NFL teams already – GMs, coaches and scouts – about this year’s seniors, so I can give good advice to Brandon [Tate], to Brooks [Foster] and Trimane [Goddard]. ... When the season is overwith, we’ll make the same calls as it would relate to Hakeem.”

Davis, who has made similar calls for juniors in his past coaching jobs, said there are a lot of factors that should be considered when an underclassman is deciding whether to leave school early: Is he physically ready? Career-wise, is he ready? What is the marketplace – meaning how many players at his position are also in the draft?

“What if Kentwan [Balmer] had gone out a year before, where would he have been?” Davis asked, referring to UNC’s star defensive lineman last season. “Maybe not drafted, maybe in the sixth or seventh round. He stayed for one more year, and ended up going in the first round. So it made him a fortune.”

Nicks last weekend became UNC's career leader in receiving yards. When he was asked last month whether he had made a decision about the NFL, he said: "I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t cross my mind. But I’m at the point right now where I know I’m out here putting up numbers, and it’s definitely catching their eye. But I don’t want to focus on that; I want to focus on the remainder of the season we’ve got, and winning out this season and doing great things for this university. And I’m still happy to be here at the moment."


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Say bye

I think Nicks leaving for the NFL is a foregone conclusion. The pros already know what he can do. It's too bad for us but great for Nicks.


guys, we are seeing and hopefully will see in the future the 2nd coming of Michael Irvin without the antics. Hes not getting the pub yet nationally, but by the time the ACC Championship game or Bowl Season starts, everybody will know about him. he's easily a top 20 pick in the draft this year and maybe a top 10 depending on who needs him now.


I've been watching UNC football at least since 1963 and it's my opinion Hakeem is the best UNC WR, by far, I've seen. As much as I'd like to see Nicks on next year's team I can't imagine why he wouldn't declare for the NFL at season's end. Whatever he does, I'm confident it will be the right decision.

It seems like the coaches are recruiting...

like they will have to replace the entire wr group next year. Davis even put Jones in the GT game to get the potential red shirt some game experience. I know that might be countered with saying Jones potentially may not be there for 4 years, but he didn't play until the 9 th game. I would like for Nicks to return, but if he's forecast to get drafted early and play in the NFL..he can't turn that down.

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About the blogger

Robbi Pickeral has covered ACC sports for The News & Observer since 2003. She can be reached at