The day after Thanksgiving, former Iowa State running back Stevie Hicks was found dead under a bridge on Interstate 480 in downtown Omaha. A former high school star in Omaha at Creighton Prep, he turned down offers to play for the Huskers to play for his uncle's alma mater in Ames.
While Hicks led the Cyclones in rushing every season during his career, injuries limited his production. After his graduation, his dreams of playing in the NFL didn't come true. Even the Canadian Football League didn't work out.
His family became concerned about Hicks. On that day after Thanksgiving, while nearly everybody else in town was out shopping the "day after Thanksgiving" specials or preparing to head to Lincoln for the NU/Colorado game, Hicks' grandmother Anita called 911, telling the dispatcher that Stevie was having a breakdown.
At 7:35 am, police were called to Anita Hicks' home, where his grandmother pleaded with officers to take Stevie away to get help. Stevie told officers he didn't intend to hurt himself or anybody else. Unable to do anything, police left a half hour later.
At 8:34 am, 911 received reports of a man jumping off a bridge onto Interstate 480. At 9:14 am, Stevie Hicks was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Officially, Hicks died of injuries to his head. But those injuries were merely a side effect of a deeper problem: excessive unrealistic expectations. Very few players go onto professional football; sadly, too many players don't realize it or are prepared for it.