The Hicks Report: Ohio’s top player talks Florida, Ohio State, hoops, more


Lakota West LB Jordan Hicks is rated as the No. 4 player in the country by ESPN Scouts Inc. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

Under Armour All-American linebacker Jordan Hicks returned for his weekly teleconference Monday after battling a bout of strep throat last week. Among the topics covered were his illness, his visits to Florida and Ohio State, punting and basketball.

We have more in our weekly series featuring Ohio’s top player.

Jordan Hicks
is on the mend.

The Under Armour All-American linebacker of West Chester
Lakota West returned for his weekly teleconference Monday after missing last
week’s call suffering from a case of strep throat.

On The Shelf

Hicks, who is rated as the top player in the state by
Ohio High
magazine and is the No. 2 ranked player in the country by ESPN
Scouts, Inc., sat out of Lakota West’s 20-6 win over Hamilton last week still
nursing his illness.

“It was difficult but I didn’t want to risk getting
(sicker),” said Hicks. “My immune system was already down so they just decided
it would be better if I sat the game out and let the team take over.”

Although, according head coach Larry Cox, Hicks wanted to

“We have a bunch of cases of (Mononucleosis) going around
the school and you don’t want for his immune system to be drained so bad that he runs the risk of mono,” Cox said. “So, from a coaching perspective it was
hard on me and I know it was hard on him because he wants to play.

“But I would never question the competitive nature of
(Hicks) because he was ready to go and he would go in a minute. To stand on the
sidelines in your uniform and not play is really difficult.”

Junior Dylan Romero made the start in place of Hicks for Lakota West (3-1).

“One of the things that we learned from the University of
Cincinnati last season was their philosophy of ‘Next Man In’. The
next man has to be just as good,” Cox explained. “In that situation, Dylan did a great job filling
in for Jordan.

“It just builds confidence for the season that we are a good team
and not just a bunch of individuals.”

Romp In The Swamp

Hicks was feeling well enough to make an unofficial
visit to Florida Saturday for the Gators 23-13 win over rival Tennessee.

“It was a good visit because I actually got to go down
there and talk to the coaches and get my face in there a little bit. So, it
definitely put a little bit of a personal relationship to it,” Hicks said.

Quarterbacks Coach Scot Loeffler is recruiting
Hicks for the Gators.

“We just sat and talked,” Hicks said. “I’ve met him before
and we already knew each other a little bit face to face. So, we just sat and
talked about what we see and where he envisions me.”

As for the game Saturday afternoon, Hicks said he enjoyed
his time at ‘The Swamp’.

“I did get to interact with some of the other recruits. The
atmosphere was crazy. It was loud and it was everything I expected. I was
impressed,” he said.

Hicks’ mom, Kelly Justice, who has been a major part of
her son’s recruitment, made the trip to Florida as well.

“She liked it a lot, too,” said Hicks. “She liked the
atmosphere and she liked meeting the coaches. She was impressed by (head coach
Urban Myer).”

Hicks has an official visit planned to Florida in December
following the regular season and has one scheduled with Texas in October for the
Colorado game.

“I’m just looking forward to getting down (to Texas) and
talk with everybody again and getting to meet a few players,” he said.

Alabama, USC and Georgia are still in the mix for Hicks, though he does nt have any other official visits set up yet.

If ‘The Shoe’ Fits…

Hicks commented on his official visit to Ohio State for the
first time where he was on hand at Ohio Stadium for the 18-15 loss to Southern
California Sept. 12.

“I like Ohio State. I took my visit up there and I got to
sit down and talk with coaches,” he said. “I actually got to see the dorms and I
never got to see those before. So, that was impressive.

“I like Ohio State a lot and I have a good relationship
with all the coaches and some of the players, too.”

Having spent the most time on Ohio State’s campus of the
schools recruiting him, Hicks said he feels comfortable with what OSU has to

“They don’t really need to show me anything,” he said. “It
is more mainly on me and where I feel comfortable and what meets my needs the

Hicks Getting His Kicks

For the second season, Hicks has shared the punting duties
with senior Brandon Neal. Neal is a Ball State defensive back commitment.

“We went to (the University of Cincinnati) to talk to them
about their rugby punt last year,” Cox explained. “UC told us to put our best
athlete there and let your best athlete run with it because if he has a chance
to take it to the house, he can take it to the house.

“We looked at (Hicks and
Neal) and they are two of our fastest kids, so we feel like we’ve got dual
threats back there.”

Cox said he leaves it up to Hicks and Neal whether or not
they elect to punt or try to convert on fourth down plays. He said Hicks has
converted 5-of-6 attempts.

“It is a decision they make and if you are going to put
that kind of decision in a player’s hands, you’ve got to make sure they see just
about every type of scenario they might encounter,” Cox said.

The punt is a play Lakota West works on
everyday in practice. 

“We actually punt a lot and go through special teams,” said
Hicks. “We actually go through special teams quite a bit – probably 15 minutes a

Basketball In The Air

Hicks averaged 11.9 points and 6.1 rebounds last season for
the Lakota West basketball team but he may not return to the hardwood for the
Firebirds for his senior season.

“It all depends if I graduate early,” Hicks said. “It all
depends on where I go. At Ohio State, I can go in the middle of March which
would enable me to play basketball and still graduate kind of early. It all

“Ultimately, I can play basketball no matter what so it all
just depends on me.”

*     *     *

The Hicks Report Archive

Sept. 15, 2009 –

Ohio State official visit impressive for Hicks, mom

Sept. 8, 2009 –
First official visit to feature Troy’s invasion of Columbus

Aug. 30, 2009
Taking control



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *