John Hicks (American football)

John Hicks (American football)

NFL player

Name=John Hicks
|DateOfBirth=birth date and age|1951|03|21
Birthplace= Cleveland, Ohio
College=Ohio State
Position=Offensive tackle/guard
Career Highlights=Y
Awards=1974 UPI NFC Rookie of Year
1973 Outland Trophy
teams=New York Giants

John Charles Hicks Jr. (born March 21, 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio) was an American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. He is best remembered for being the last lineman to be runner-up in the vote for the Heisman Trophy.

Ohio State

In 1970, Hicks came onto the Buckeye scene and won the job as a starting tackle. He unfortunately missed his sophomore year due to a knee injury, but rebounded to put together two spectacular seasons in 1972 and 1973. During Hicks' three years, Ohio State posted an incredible 28-3-1 record, and each year, Ohio State won the Big Ten Championship and went to the Rose Bowl, making Hicks the first person from OSU to play in three Rose Bowls.

In 1972 Hicks was recognized as a First Team All-America selection and earned his first of two All-Big Ten honors. He repeated his All-Conference honors his senior year and again earned All-America honors, this time as a unanimous selection. His stellar senior season and dominance of the line of scrimmage caught the eye of the voters as Hicks won the Lombardi Award as the nation's most outstanding lineman and the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman. You could make the argument that for one season, no offensive lineman had a better season than Ohio State's John Hicks had in 1973. He won the Lombardi and Outland Awards and finished 2nd to John Cappelletti for the Heisman Trophy. How loaded was the 1973 Ohio State team? RB Archie Griffin finished 5th and LB Randy Gradishar 6th. Hicks, along with Griffin, was the main cog on one of the most dominant offensive teams in college football history as the 1973 Buckeyes outscored teams 413 to 64 and blew out USC in the Rose Bowl.

The comeback

That Hicks was the road grader for such great running backs as Archie Griffin, Pete Johnson and Harold "Champ" Henson is all the more amazing when considering what he had to overcome. The 6-3, 258 pound tackle started as a sophomore in 1970, freshman weren't eligible, and helped them go to the Rose Bowl. In 1971, he started off the season in dominant fashion before injuring his knee and missing the last six games of the season. He came back to become an All-American in 1972 helping the Buckeyes to go back to the Rose Bowl. Then he had his monster 1973 season. A first round draft pick of the New York Giants, injuries would put a halt to his pro career.

The Rose Bowls

Hicks was the first player to ever start in three Rose Bowls and was part of a monster Ohio State. The unbeaten Buckeyes lost to Stanford 27-17 in the 1971 Rose Bowl. The 1973 Ohio State team got steamrolled by USC 42-17. 1974 would be Ohio State's year as they beat USC 42-21 as Hicks led the way to 323 rushing yards.


* First Team All-American - 1972, 1973
* First Team All-Big Ten - 1972, 1973
* 2nd in Heisman Trophy - 1973
* Outland Trophy Winner - 1973
* Lombardi Trophy Winner - 1973

Dominant offensive lineman of his era?

While Alabama's John Hannah and Michigan's Dan Dierdorf are widely acknowledged as the top offensive linemen of the early 70's, Hicks certainly deserved consideration. The Buckeyes went 19-2-1 in his last two seasons and 28-3-1 during the three full seasons he played in. Certainly Ohio State had as much talent as any program in the nation during that time, but Hicks had as much to do with making their offensive machine go as anyone on the team and it says something that he finished ahead of legends like Gradishar and Griffin for the Heisman.


John is married and the father of 4 children and has one granddaughter.


External links

* [ College football career summary] from the Ohio State University website
* [ The John Hicks Company]

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