It’s finally coming to an end. On Friday, West Chester, Ohio, Lakota West linebacker Jordan Hicks will end his recruitment. The consensus No. 1 linebacker in the country is down to Florida, Texas and Ohio State, but most are saying this is a two-horse race between Florida and Texas. Hicks has been quiet for most of the recruiting season and has worked primarily through a weekly teleconference. Yes, he’s THAT high-profile, I guess.
The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Hicks will announce in his high school gymnasium at 12:30 p.m. Whether hats from each school will be used has yet to be decided. Regardless, the man that most Gator fans have been salivating over will end everything Friday afternoon. Rumors are running wild about him being a silent to Florida. Hey, did you hear about his uncle who …
But the word I’m getting is that he had no idea where he was going as of earlier this week. That appears to be over and while I’m going to give Texas the advantage, here’s a breakdown of who’s involved for Hicks.
Florida — Hicks’ love for Florida began early in the fall when he unofficially visited for the Tennessee game. Afterward, he said that he really connected with then-defensive coordinator Charlie Strong. It was that bond that gave Florida a good chance early. Hicks then returned for an official visit in December. However, Strong left to be the head coach at Louisville and Florida took quite some time to find his replacement. It’s tough to say how much Strong’s absence and the hiring of George Edwards to replace Strong has had on Hicks’ decision, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Strong staying wouldn’t have hurt at all. The thing that works in Florida’s favor is that it will need linebackers after this season, and Hicks is a guy who can play at each linebacker position. Another thing is that Hicks wanted to enroll early and he can’t do that at Texas, so the longer he goes the better Florida’s staff has to feel.
Texas — The Longhorns were the favorite for most of the recruiting season and little has happened to change that. No, he can’t enroll early in Austin and that might be a big deal in a sense, but if Hicks really wants to go to Texas, missing spring practice ruin that. The thing that has stayed constant for Hicks and Texas is that defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will be there in the fall. This relationship has been brought up by Hicks time and time again. Muschamp is the biggest reason why I’m giving Texas the edge. He even gave up becoming Tennessee’s coach to stay at Texas. Gotta love the loyalty, and I’m sure Hicks does. The only thing that hurts Texas is that this drama been dragged out for this long. My theory is that if a school looks like the favorite for most of the time, the longer it takes for something to happen, the worse off that school can be. I’m just not sure if I see it going poorly for Texas.
Ohio State — Talk about no one giving the Buckeyes any chance. They should have homefield advantage! But once Florida got into the picture, it appeared as if Ohio State was out of it. That’s not what some insiders are saying, however. There are some who feel Ohio State could swoop in and take Hicks from Florida and Texas. The huge thing going for the Buckeyes? Hicks could still enroll early at OSU if he wanted. Spring quarter classes begin at the end of March and the Buckeyes don’t start spring practice until April. He’s got plenty of time to enroll. Unfortunately for Hicks, the Buckeyes return a lot of linebackers next season.