West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West head coach Larry Cox, having dealt a lot with the Ohio State coaching staff and knowing how much the Buckeyes value keeping Ohio-grown talent from leaving the state, understands completely that the Texas Longhorns follow a similar principle in recruiting.
But when the Longhorns decide to venture outside of the state for a prospect the effort is usually a full court press and Cox said that he could not be happier with the effort and sincerity of Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, the primary recruiter for Lakota West Under Armour All-American Jordan Hicks.
“It’s interesting talking to Will because he really had to sell Jordan to Mack (Brown),” Cox said during Monday morning’s conference between himself, Hicks and members of the media. “It wasn’t until Jordan got down there for camp that Mack fell in love with him because, let’s be honest, it’s a reach for Texas to come grab an Ohio kid.”
Since that summer 2008 visit Texas has tried with all its might to grab Hicks out of Ohio and add him to an impressive defensive haul in the 2010 class as Muschamp, who has been the point man in Hicks’ recruitment, talked with Hicks on the phone last week before making a trip to Ohio to watch Hicks in action on Friday night. Cox went on to say that he feels assured that Hicks will have a good home during his time in Austin, if the No. 2 overall prospect on the ESPNU 150 ultimately decides to pick the Horns.
“I wanted to know that if Jordan decided to go to Texas if things went bad then the Ohio kid wouldn’t be picked on,” Cox said. “Will and Mack have done a great job of letting me know that they don’t recruit losers, they bring in winners.”
Cox also knows that if Brown decides to step down while Hicks is at Texas, hypothetically speaking of course, then Muschamp will step in as head coach and Cox thinks highly of the move that the Horns made to keep Muschamp in Austin.
“It’s great knowing that if Coach Brown does decide to step down then they have a great one coming in to follow him,” Cox said. “It gives me a sense of ease knowing that Jordan will be taken care of if he elects to go there.”
Hicks will be leaving Ohio immediately following West’s game on Friday night to take his official visit to Texas as he will be inside DKR for No. 2 Texas’ evening kickoff against Colorado. Hicks’ trip for the Horns game against the Buffaloes is made all the more interesting due to the fact that Hicks’ mother, who will travel with her son to Austin, is a Colorado graduate.
Hicks has also finalized an official to Florida in the month of December, but Hicks was not sure of the exact date when he will be taking the trip. Florida assistant coach Scott Loeffler was unable to make it to Hicks’ game on Friday but did stop by the school last Thursday showing that the Gators are still very interested.
As of right now Hicks said that he fully intends to take all five official visits with his official visit to Ohio State having already taken place, his visit to Texas up this weekend and his visit to Florida already booked with trips to Alabama and Southern Cal still to be finalized.
“At this point, that’s what I’m trying to do,” Hicks said when asked if he intends to take all five official visits. “I’m just not sure yet.”
Alabama and Southern Cal both seem to be very much in the mix for Hicks’ services. Hicks said there is a possibility that he will visit the Crimson Tide for their game against Tennessee on Oct. 24 but that is not official according to Hicks himself. Hicks also shot down a rumor that he will be visiting Southern Cal for its game against UCLA.
Hicks did mention that he spoke last week via telephone with Alabama head coach Nick Saban as well as Pete Carroll and Ken Norton, Jr. of Southern Cal.
But the next school with the chance to impress is Texas and with Hicks’ long-awaited trip to the 40 Acres now just days away the Horns have a chance to make their big pitch to one of the nation’s top recruits.