A year ago Austin Hicks didn’t know he was going to play college football.
He also didn’t know he had a 10 to 15 percent hearing loss until late in elementary school.
Hicks recently signed a letter of intent to Division III Gallaudet, a liberal arts university in Washington, D.C., for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
“I never imagined it,” the 5-foot-9, 200-pound lineman from Plattsmouth said of playing college football. “I had never been contacted by any coaches before.
“Coach (Bob) Dzuris texted me one day and said Gaulludet was interested in me and asked if I would be interested in checking them out.”
Hicks took an official visit to Gallaudet on Jan. 28 and liked everything about his trip.
“I am really excited about the opportunity,” he said. “From their campus you can see the Capitol.”
The Bison finished fourth in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference last season and had eight players earn All-ECFC recognition.
“I would like to thank my parents,” Hicks said. “They definitely got me to this point. They pushed me with academics and that is part of the reason why I got here.”
Hicks used to be a very shy on and off the field, but that has changed.
“My coaches helped me get out of my shell,” he said. “Especially this last summer, I really grew up with the changes to our strength and conditioning program.”