The staff here at Keeping It Heel got together to look back on 2012 and celebrate the top contributors to the athletic program at the great University of North Carolina. Today we will celebrate the greatest achievements in the year that is now behind us and honor those who helped make it memorable. Here we’ll look at our choice for alumni professional sportsman of the year New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Be sure to check back later for the rest of the series where we honor the male & female athlete of the year, the coach of the year, game of the year, play of the year, team of the year and comeback player of the year . To view portions of this series published so far click HERE.
This was the tightest vote in this series and much debate surrounded the winner of this category but the KIH staff eventually settled on Nicks. Nicks was a member of the Superbowl champion Giants after a tremendous post season that carried them to an unlikely title after a 9-7 regular season.
Nicks was a huge part of the Giants run averaging seven receptions for 111 yards and four TDs in the Giants four playoff games. He totaled at least 100 yards in three of the four games including 109 yards on 10 receptions in the Superbowl victory over the favored New England Patriots.
Nicks made several big time catches that sustained drives against the Patriots and although he didn’t score a TD in the big game he was the safety net for quarterback Eli Manning all night long.
Nicks formed one of the leagues top WR groups in the NFL with Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham (now a member of the San Francisco 49ers). The 2012 season hasn’t been as kind to Nicks who has been slowed by injuries but his great performance throughout the playoffs leading to a Super Bowl victory for his team tipped the scales in his favor as our Tar Heel Alumni Professional Sportsman Of The Year