Giants WR Nicks set for a return to his home state
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Growing up in Charlotte, N.C., Hakeem Nicks was a tried and true Carolina Panthers supporter.
On Thursday night, he'll line up against them.
"I was a big Steve Smith fan," said Nicks, a co-leading receiver of the New York Giants, and an eager veteran itching to meet Carolina and its veteran wideout for the first time as a professional this week. "I liked the Panthers. I liked Steve Smith's heart. He plays with a lot of heart and he's a great athlete. I hoped to be like him."
Well, he's on his way.
In two games, Nicks has combined with running mate Victor Cruz on 31 catches as the Super Bowl champions have posted a 1-1 start. Nicks has 237 yards receiving and a touchdown, the kind of start that would make Smith — who in 2005 led the league in receptions (103), yards (1,563) and touchdowns (12) — proud.
"It's really big for me," Nicks said. "I'm really looking forward to it. I have a lot of family and friends that are going to be there."
When asked how many tickets he had to purchase, Nicks' reply was simple.