Time & Change: John Hicks

Time and Change is a series at BuckeyeNation where we chat with former Ohio State athletes.

There haven't been many to come down the chute like John Hicks at Ohio State.

Hicks, 61, was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten and two-time first-team All-America selection for the Buckeyes during his days at Ohio State from 1970-73.

He was the last lineman to finish runner-up in the Heisman -- Penn State's John Cappelletti won the award in 1973.

An Outland and Lombardi Trophy winner, Hicks, who lives in Dublin, Ohio, was elected into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2009 -- a game Hicks played in three times.

Taken with the third pick in the 1974 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Hicks played with the team from 1974-77.

In 1978, he was traded to Pittsburgh but never played for the Steelers.

He is currently the CEO and president of the John Hicks Company, a commercial real estate business.

BuckeyeNation recently caught up with Hicks, who talked about his friendships, losing three games in four years as a Buckeye and the hunger that the 2012 Buckeyes must feel.

BN>: You had a good stint in the NFL. Do you ever find yourself missing your days on the field?

Hicks: No. I had a good time, but I'm 61 years old. It's been a long time.

BN: What lessons did Coach Woody Hayes teach you and how have you used them in everyday life?

Hicks: He said the finest people I'd ever meet were in this [locker room] and he was right. He said to stay humble and I have.

BN: What was it like to block for Archie Griffin and Pete Johnson during your days at Ohio State?

Hicks: Well, I got a chance to block for John Brockington and Leo Hayden first. What I learned from them I was able to apply for Pete and Archie. We're real good friends still. I played with great people. My best friends were on that team. We won a lot of games. We do a lot together now. We take care of each other. It was a tremendous amount of people coming from all walks in life. I was very fortunate to be in a situation where I was surrounded by great backs. We had Leo Hayden and John Brockington and then here comes Archie and Pete and Champ Henson. I was just fortunate to be able to play with those guys.

BN: You were named to the Ohio State All-Century team. What does that honor mean to you?

Hicks: (Laughs) I guess it means I've been around a hundred years. They're wearing [last season's] kids out because they lost seven ballgames. We lost three in four years. We have great tradition. To be included in that group that played at that great school is a great honor.

BN: Living in Dublin, what's the buzz been like surrounding Ohio State this year? What do you expect out of the Buckeyes this year with Urban Meyer as coach?

Hicks: I think they'll win 11 or 12 ballgames, personally. It was unfortunate all the things that happened to us or we would have had a great football team last year. Now, we lost [Jim] Tressel and [Terrelle] Pryor and [Dan] Herron and [Mike] Adams and everything. Those kids are wearing those seven losses on their shoulders, buddy. You're going to see a new team. Urban ran the "you know what" out of the line, they're all down to about 310, 312 [pounds]. The defensive line is in great shape. They'll be a tough, physical line to deal with.

BN: What are your future plans?

Hicks: I just want to grow old with my grandchildren.