Leawood (KS) Blue Valley North athlete Amauri Pesek-Hickson committed to Michigan over the weekend. He picked the Wolverines over . . . uhh . . . Missouri State.
Pesek-Hickson is listed at 6’3″, 210 lbs. As a senior in 2018, he ran 76 times for 563 yards, caught 38 passes for 595 yards, and scored 14 total touchdowns.
Rivals: 3-star ATH, 5.6 grade
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #75 ATH, #927 overall
Hit the jump for more on Pesek-Hickson’s commitment.
Pesek-Hickson quit football after ninth grade to concentrate on basketball, which he played exclusively in tenth and eleventh grades. When his basketball recruitment didn’t take off, he returned to football for his senior year. (Let that be a lesson: if you’re 6’3″ and don’t have handles or can’t shoot like Steph Curry, try football.) The numbers above show some obvious success, and he was helped out by the fact that his quarterback was 4-star Wisconsin commit Graham Mertz. Michigan offered Pesek-Hickson recently, he set up a visit, and the rest is history.
Pesek-Hickson has some natural talent, and he has some additional upside stemming from the fact that he spent two years away from football, a rarity for a player headed to a big-time football program. As a basketball player, one would expect some decent hands and ball skills, and he shows those abilities on film. His 38 catches are noteworthy, he reacts well to the ball in the air, and he high-points the ball a couple times on his highlight film. Chances are slim that he will be given many opportunities to catch jump balls in college, but it’s something to work with. He’s a north-south runner with some power.
Quick change-of-direction skills are somewhat lacking, and he needs to work on sinking his hips to change direction, regardless of whether he plays offense or defense. He also does not have much experience playing defense, as he mostly concentrated on offense as a senior and took two years off from the sport in the middle of high school.
Overall, Pesek-Hickson is a decent athlete prospect with some questions about his future position. I have some doubts about how quickly he will be able to adjust to his position in college, where he is being recruited as a linebacker. Linebacker – unlike cornerback or defensive end, for example – requires formation recognition, quick reaction skills, making proper reads, etc. In my opinion, he’s a developmental prospect who probably needs to wait three or four years before he can get enough practice reps to become an effective defensive player. The raw skills are there, but linebacker is a tough position.
Michigan now has 26 commitments in the 2019 class, including three linebackers: Pesek-Hickson, Viper prospect Joey Velazquez, and inside linebacker Charles Thomas. The Wolverines have no senior linebackers graduating, though juniors Devin Bush, Jr. and Khaleke Hudson could potentially decide to leave early for the NFL; the team also lost redshirt freshman Drew Singleton to transfer. Pesek-Hickson would be the first player to come to Michigan from Kansas since JUCO transfer Austin Panter in 2007.
TTB Rating: 72 (ratings explanation)
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