ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- With PJ Fleck fleeing Western Michigan for Minnesota, it has left Broncos recruits with a decision to make, stay committed to WMU or head elsewhere, and for one local player, he's following his coach to the Big Ten.
Boylan defensive lineman Noah Hickcox made the decision to decommit from WMU and is now heading to Minnesota to join Fleck.
The new Gopher coach called the Titan junior Friday night to offer a scholarship and after talking it over with family, Hickcox decided to accept the offer.
He says he did so in part that he looks up to Fleck as a father especially since the sudden passing of his dad back in September.
"He was with me through all of that so I really leaned on him for support," Hickcox said. "He just made it a point for all of us to get a message from him every day saying how much he appreciates us being there and how much he loves all of us and we got a message every day on Twitter from him. When you get a message like that, it brightens your day especially through the toughest times."
In his original search for a school, Hickcox says he was only being looked at by one Big Ten team, Iowa, but was never offered a scholarship by any teams in the conference.
Hickcox says Fleck's charisma is what drew him to the young coach and his decision to switch schools will ultimately better his life in all phases.
"I think it will make me the best college player and college person that I can be. Through him, I'm going to be the best man that I can be because I look up to him as a father now and I'm excited to see how he pushes me to be a better person and not just a better football player."