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Elijah Hicks Wins Pop Warner College Football Award

Feb 1, 2022
Elijah Hicks has been selected as the winner of the 2021 Pop Warner College Football Award.

LANGHORNE, PA – Pop Warner Little Scholars, the nation's longest-serving and most prestigious youth football organization, announced Tuesday that California senior safety Elijah Hicks, a third team All-American, first-team All-Pac-12 selection and active participant in fighting hunger and poverty in the community, has been selected from six national finalists as the winner of the 12th Pop Warner National College Football Award for embodying the ideals of a student-athlete. Established in 2010, the Pop Warner College Football Award recognizes a senior who shows exceptional leadership on the field, in the classroom and in the community. 

"Elijah Hicks is very deserving of the Pop Warner College Football Award," Travers Family Head Football Coach Justin Wilcox said. "He takes a great deal of pride in everything he is involved with including football, academics and his work in the community. It has been a pleasure to coach and get to know Elijah over the past five years. He is a tremendous representative of our university and what college football is all about."

"Elijah's accomplishments on the field are enough for celebration, but his commitment to his studies, his team and his community make him a true embodiment of Pop Warner and a role model for the next generation of young student-athletes," said Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner Little Scholars. "Each year we are impressed by the nominations for this award and the stories about college football players whose exploits on the field are well known but who are also working diligently in the classroom and study hall to get great grades while giving back to others in the community. The balance exhibited on and off the field by our finalists this year is beyond impressive. Elijah is the definition of difference maker and we are honored to have him among our incredible list of Pop Warner College Football Award winners."

Below are notes on Hicks with an extended bio available by clicking on his name.
Elijah Hicks, S, 5-11, 200, Long Beach, CA (Cal/La Mirada HS/St. John Bosco HS)
— Has accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 3, 2022 (5 pm MST/PST)
— Racked up the honors as a 2021 senior by winning the Pop Warner College Football Award, while earning third-team All-American (Pro Football Focus) and first-team All-Pac-12 (Associated Press, Jon Wilner's College Football Hotline, Pac-12 Coaches, Pro Football Focus) recognition, as well as being a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, Jason Witten Collegiate Man Of The Year and Wuerffel Trophy
— Also Cal's nominee for the 2021 Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, as well as a preseason third-team (Athlon) and honorable mention (Pac-12 media) All-Pac-12 selection, a member of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Big Board and a Player To Watch (Athlon)
— Six-time game captain as a 2021 senior including each of the team's final three contests (Nevada, at Oregon, Oregon State, at Stanford, at UCLA, USC) when he started all 12 games and paced the team while co-leading the Pac-12 with a career-high four forced fumbles and 0.33 forced fumbles per game (#T11 NCAA)
— Also co-led Cal's 2021 squad with a career-high three interceptions that tied for third in the Pac-12, while he was second on the team with 72 tackles and added 5.5 tackles for loss (-15 yards), 1.0 sack (-8 yards) and two pass breakups, with the tackles, tackles for loss and tackle for loss yards all career highs
— The only Cal player to participate in all 54 Cal games possible over five seasons from 2017-21 with 46 starts and finished his career with 213 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss (-40 yards), 3.0 sacks (-15 yards), five interceptions that he returned for 66 yards and one touchdown, 14 pass breakups and six forced fumbles
— A member of the AFCA All-State Good Works Team® as a 2020 junior
— Cal's Jonathan and Judy Hoff Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a junior during the 2019-20 academic year
— Established his own non-profit foundation Intercept Poverty
— Has volunteered on several occasions for the food pantry at the UC Berkeley Basic Needs Center
— Responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by raising nearly $70,000 through his non-profit Intercept Poverty Foundation's COVID-19 campaign working along with No Kid Hungry to provide financial assistance to low-income families to help feed their children
— Partnered with Scholarship America to award grants of $500-700 to provide emergency relief funds to deserving students at UC Berkeley for expenses such as bills, rent and food
Graduated from Cal in December of 2020 with a bachelor's degree in American studies before adding graduate certificates in the school's programs in entrepreneurship (May, 2021) and business administration (December, 2021)