June 15, 2011
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By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For D.J. Hicks, the 2010 season was certainly one to forget since the Altamonte Springs native managed to see time in just six games due to an injury. UCF's designated hitter, though, worked feverishly to return to full strength in 2011 and his efforts ultimately paid huge dividends as he was named an All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Wednesday.
Hicks received a spot on the NCBWA All-America Third Team, becoming the third Knight in the last two seasons to earn All-American status (Chris Duffy and Shane Brown were both All-Americans in 2010).
It marked the first time in school history that UCF produced at least one All-American in back-to-back seasons (not including Freshmen All-Americans).
It was not the first accolade Hicks had received this season. The redshirt sophomore also was a semifinalist for the NCBWA Dick Howser Trophy, which is awarded to the nation's top player, and was voted onto the All-Conference USA Second Team, the C-USA All-Tournament Team and the NCAA Tallahassee Regional All-Tournament Team.
A graduate of Lake Brantley High School, Hicks found his name on the C-USA All-Freshman Team in 2009 after hitting .301 with eight home runs and 32 RBI, while also collecting four victories on the mound.
Following his redshirt campaign in 2010, Hicks destroyed opposing pitchers all year long in 2011 to help guide the Knights (39-23) to their first NCAA postseason appearance since 2004. He paced UCF with a .351 batting average while amassing 14 homers, 11 doubles, a C-USA-high 66 RBI and a .583 slugging percentage.
The Black and Gold's designated hitter in 60 games this past season, Hicks' best stretch came when he went 10-for-21 with three dingers and 13 RBI vs. Florida Atlantic, Florida and Memphis from April 19-24. That allowed him to be named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, as well as the NCBWA National Hitter of the Week.