What would seem like a tough decision for West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West head coach Larry Cox to keep Under Armour All-American linebacker Jordan Hicks out of the Firebirds' game on Friday was actually quite easy.
Hicks, the 6-foot-2, 200 pound ball hawk rated as the No. 2 overall prospect on the ESPNU 150, battled a sore throat and, as Cox mentioned during Hicks' weekly media conference call on Monday, the talented tackler had lost some weight due to the sickness.
"We have had some cases of mono going around the school and with his immune system already battling, we couldn't risk him getting mono and becoming even sicker," Cox said. "We have a system that the next man needs to be ready and even though Jordan wanted to play, we had some guys step and do a great job."
Hicks missed some time in the classroom last week as he was out sick and arrived for the conference call shortly after getting some extra help in math class to catch up. He said that missing the game was a tough experience to deal with but he understood why he was held out of action.
"It was difficult (to sit out) but I didn't want to risk getting sicker," Hicks said. "So I sat out and let the team take over."
Hicks became ill coming off of a weekend official visit to Ohio State as the Buckeyes hosted USC and feeling better Hicks made his second recruiting trip in as many weeks with an unofficial visit to Gainesville, Fla. Hicks was at "The Swamp" for the highly-anticipated Florida-Tennessee game and the Gators, one of Hicks' top six schools, made a good impression on Hicks and his mother.
"It was a good visit," Hicks said. "I got to meet with the coaches and put a face with a name from some of the guys that I have been talking to so it made it more of a personal relationship.
"My mom, she liked the atmosphere," Hicks added. "She liked the coaches and she was really impressed with coach (Urban) Meyer."
As of right now Hicks said that he does not have any other official visits planned, other than his Oct. 9 weekend trip to Austin for the Horns' game against Colorado.
Hicks has not visited Austin since the summer of 2008 but he has stated recently that he thinks highly of Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp while his mom has taken a liking to Texas strength and conditioning coach Jeff Madden.
Hicks spoke on Monday about what he is looking forward to when he makes his return trip to Austin in a matter of weeks.
"I'm mainly looking forward to getting back down there and seeing the place and talking with everyone again," Hicks said, "and getting to meet a few of the players and the staff too."
During the conference call Hicks said that in addition to Ohio State, Florida and Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Southern Cal are still in the mix for his services.
As far as Hicks' immediate future, he will be back on the field Friday night when Lakota West takes on Sycamore High.
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