In the second installment of our weekly series this season featuring Ohio’s top player, Lakota West linebacker Jordan Hicks discusses his first official visit – Ohio State – which set for this week as the Buckeyes welcome USC for an epic match up between two national powers strongly vying for his talents.
ppropriately enough, Ohio’s top player, who is also the
nation’s top linebacker prospect, is taking an official visit this week for
arguably the top college football game of the season.
West Chester Lakota West linebacker Jordan Hicks confirmed
today that he will be in Ohio Stadium Saturday night as USC makes the trip to
Columbus to take on Ohio State in the highly anticipated match up between the two top 10 ranked teams.
Hicks, who is rated as the top player in the state by
Ohio High magazine and is considered the No. 2 player in the country by ESPN,
has both Ohio State and USC are on his final list of top six schools he is considering. Texas, Florida, Georgia and Alabama have also made the cut.
This week’s visit to Ohio State will be his first official
“I’m going up there and just want to have a good time,”
Hicks said. “I want to get a feel for the campus and get to know some people and
get a feel for what it would be like if I was there.”
But Hicks is no stranger to Columbus or the Ohio State staff as he is the top target for the Buckeyes 2010 recruiting class.
“I am probably more familiar with them than any other
coaching staff for the simple fact that I have been around them more,” he said.
“We have a really good relationship and I have just spent the most time with
Hicks (6-2, 225) said he has had the most communication with head coach Jim
Tressel, linebackers coach Luke Fickell and Recruiting Coordinator John
“That is definitely important – the people around you and
who you’re with for the next four or five years – it is probably the most
important factor in that decision,” he said.
While he hasn’t had as much communication with USC, Hicks
has kept in regular contact with the Trojans program – particularly USC
linebackers coach and former NFL veteran Ken Norton, Jr.
“I’ve really only talked to coach Norton and I have talked to
(head coach Pete Carroll) once,” Hicks said. “I feel like me and coach Norton do have a good
relationship. I’m just as familiar with him as I am with the Ohio State people.”
No stranger to coaching highly-touted college prospects,
Lakota West head coach Larry Cox has offered Hicks advice on relationships with
staffs in regards to his final decision.
“One of the things I tell my kids is not to base their
decision solely on the coaching staff,” Cox said. “Even though they are very
stable relationships with the programs Jordan is looking at, assistant coaches
from programs like that have a tendency to be promoted or look for a
coordinator’s job or coordinators are looking at a head coaching jobs.
the head coach is probably more stable in those positions than anywhere.”
Cox said he also emphasizes the ‘student’ aspect of being a
student-athlete once on a college campus.
“One of the biggest things I tell (players) is you’ve got to
throw football out of the picture,” he said. “I know with a young man like
(Hicks) it is hard to do but at the same time you’re only one injury away from never
playing the sport again so where do you see yourself being ‘Joe Student’? I
think that is an important consideration.
“But all the coaching staffs do a great job getting the
kids set up so they feel like they’re a part of (the university).”
Ohio State is coming off a tight 31-27 season-opening win
over Navy while USC cruised past San Jose State 56-3.
“Honestly, I really didn’t get to watch (the games),” Hicks
said. “But I saw ESPN and saw Ohio State’s game and how they won (with the Brian
Rolle 98-yard interception return for a touchdown).”
For the first time in school history, USC started a
freshman quarterback in its season-opener as Matt Barkley went 15-of-19 passing
for 233 yards and a touchdown.
Hicks likes USC’s willingness
to put freshman players in starting roles, particularly in the quarterback position.
“Of course, everybody wants to play coming in as a true
freshman and they have those aspirations. But it only happens for those few
people,” he said. “I’m definitely looking for that opportunity and with USC
starting (Barkley) at quarterback, it shows that they’ll play the best players.
“I’m confident (in playing early) but I understand that there’s going to be
other players there and other players starting and I’m going to have to work my
way up the depth chart.”
Hicks has one other official visit scheduled thus far for
October 10 when Colorado visits Texas.
“I have talked to (head coach Mack Brown) and we have a
really good relationship,” Hicks explained. “I talk to (linebackers coach Will
Muschamp) probably every week. I have a really good relationship with him and I
understand him. He’s just a real down to earth guy and that is what I am looking
Muschamp is believed to be the next in line for the Texas
head coach position after Mack Brown.
“If something happens with coach Brown retiring or he
leaves, my coach would be the linebackers coach so that would be a big factor,”
Lakota West improved to 1-1 last week cruising past
visiting Lancaster 24-12. Hicks had a sack in the game and converted a fourth
down on a fake punt.
“I felt like I played alright. I don’t think I had my best
game but it wasn’t a bad game,” Hicks said. “I feel like the team defense has to
learn how to be disciplined and work as a unit.”
Said Cox, “I think Jordan is being a
little modest. I thought he was going to come up short (on the fake punt) but he hurdled a kid
completely to get the first down. He landed on his feet and kept going and it
was a great play. It was really a neat run.”
Hicks had two carries in the game for 27 yards and playing
offense on a regular basis is not completely out of the question, according to Cox.
“There are things that we are starting to work on as an
offensive unit to be able to get him touches within the game,” he said. “I think
there’s ways we are going to expand that role and begin to get him the ball on
The Firebirds hit the road this week to take on the
Firebirds of Kettering Fairmont (1-1).
“It’s going to be tough,” Hicks said. “They are definitely
going to be looking for the win against us because we have never lost to them. They have our game circled and we’re just going to have to learn from last week and come out and ready
For the season, Hicks has tallied 17 tackles a sack and an interception.
* * *
The Hicks Report Archive
Aug. 30, 2009 –