Poly’s Wicker enjoyed dominant 2014 under Pierce

Wicker, the FOXSportsWest.com CIF Southern Section Defensive Player of the Year, spent all of 2014 dominating. From the defensive line he led Long Beach Poly with 138 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles all while being named a U.S. Army All-American.

Joseph Wicker was known as a very good high school football player heading into the 2014 season. By the time it ended, he was bordering elite.

Wicker received a kick start from head coach Antonio Pierce.

The first year head coach challenged him. Wicker responded.

"Setting high expectations for me and me exceeding them," Wicker says of Pierce’s impact. "That’s what he sought out for me.  He really wanted me to get better and quicker at my position.

"He felt like I could dominate."

Wicker, the FOXSportsWest.com CIF Southern Section Defensive Player of the Year, spent all of 2014 dominating. From the defensive line, he led Long Beach Poly with 138 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks and four forced fumbles all while being named a U.S. Army All-American.

On Sunday, Wicker will conclude his high school career playing for Team IMPACT in the 2015 West Coast Bowl. The game will be streamed live on FOXSports.com as well as the FOX Sports GO app.

Wicker came out of the gates in 2014 like a mad man. He had 10 sacks after the team’s first two games of the season.

It was all a part of him responding to the demands of his head coach.

"The first game (of the season) he told me that I should have three sacks," Wicker said. "I wanted to better than what he told me so I got six."

The talented defensive lineman views himself as an interior lineman at the next level although he says he’s comfortable playing anywhere. For the Jackrabbits last season, that’s exactly what Wicker did –he played any and everywhere along the defensive line.

That, of course, was at the urging of Pierce. The union of Wicker and Pierce was a match made in defensive heaven.

It was the challenge Wicker needed to tap further into his tremendous talent.

He’ll take some of those lessons with him to the next level. He’s still deciding between Texas Tech, Arizona State, and UCLA.

Wicker is scheduled to have an official visit with the Bruins next weekend.

The Poly Jackrabbit says he will announce his decision on National Signing Day.