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Hicks A Semifinalist For Jason Witten Collegiate Man Of The Year

Nov 17, 2020
Elijah Hicks' leadership has made him a national semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year honor.

DALLAS, TX – Elijah Hicks was named Tuesday as one of 20 national semifinalists for the fourth annual Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year for his record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field. The award, presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb, is the first college football honor to focus primarily on a player's leadership, both on and off the field.

Leadership is a term synonymous with Jason Witten, who, in addition to becoming one of the best tight ends in the history of football, has served as one of the sport's most prominent role models during his 16-year pro career. In addition to winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2012, Witten also received the Bart Starr Award, Pro Football Weekly's Humanitarian of the Year Award, Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP and the Bob Lilly Award, among many others. All of those honors have recognized his work in the community, achievements on the field and dedication to his teammates and family.

"It's my honor to announce this impressive group of student-athletes as semifinalists for the fourth annual Collegiate Man of the Year," Witten said. "With all of the challenges this year has given us, these young men are shining examples of what makes college football great. They have demonstrated exceptional character and leadership, often while facing large challenges. They are great representatives for the game of football, and I commend all nominees for getting to this point."

The winner of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year will receive a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school's athletic scholarship fund. The contribution will be made by Jason Witten's SCORE Foundation, the official charity of Jason and his wife Michelle.

Three award finalists will be named on Wednesday, December 16. The winner will be announced at the award ceremony on February 16, 2021.

Below are notes on Hicks with an extended bio available by clicking on his name.
Elijah Hicks, S, 5-11, 200, Sr., 3L, Long Beach, CA (La Mirada HS/St. John Bosco HS)
– Created his own non-profit Intercept Poverty Foundation with the primary focus of helping fight poverty especially for low-income students constrained by their finances with a website ( that among other features includes statistics on the relationship between education and poverty rates
– Selected to the prestigious AFCA All-State Good Works Team® as a 2020 senior primarily for his community service work with the Intercept Poverty Foundation and the food pantry at the UC Berkeley Basic Needs Center
– Raised over $60,000 through a partnership between his foundation and No Kid Hungry for families affected financially by COVID-19
– Has recently partnered with Scholarship America and is in the process of raising a similar amount of money to award two scholarships and establish an emergency fund for Cal students in need
– Has moved to safety after playing primarily cornerback in each of his first three seasons
– Earned Preseason All-California Region (SportsPac12), Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon) and Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Phil Steele) recognition prior to his 2020 senior campaign and then recorded a career-high-tying seven tackles and a career-high two pass breakups in Cal's COVID-19 delayed season-opener at UCLA on Nov. 15
– Named the Jonathan and Judy Hoff Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a 2019 junior
– Has played in all 39 games possible with 31 starts during his first three-plus seasons at Cal and posted career totals of 120 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss (-25 yards), 2.0 sacks (-7 yards), one interception that he returned 34 yards for a touchdown at Colorado as a 2018 sophomore, 12 pass breakups, 13 passes defended and two forced fumbles since his 2017 arrival