Lakota West High School (Ohio) hosted a conference call for reporters with Jordan Hicks Monday morning. Due to the intense interest in Hicks' recruitment, the school will hold these sessions on a weekly basis. Jordan Hicks is a Rivals100 member and said Monday his top six schools are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, and USC.
Hicks' team lost their season opener to Dayton area powerhouse Northmont High School 7-6 on Friday evening. Hicks posted twelve tackles, nine solos, and a remarkable interception to set up his team's only score.
Lakota West Sports Information Director Todd Hunter and Head Coach Larry Cox were both present for the conference call. Roughly a dozen media outlets were represented. For sake of brevity, we have eliminated a couple of the questions that do not pertain to Hicks' recruitment.
Question: How frustrating was the loss on Friday night?
Hicks: "It was frustrating. We prepared all summer. We had in our mind that we were going to win. Sometimes it does not work that way. We have got to get better."
Question: Who is recruiting you for Alabama, and can you tell me about that relationship?
Hicks: "Coach Sal [Sunseri] is recruiting me. My relationship with him is really good. He talked to my mom a few times, and me all the time. I like coach Sal. He is somebody I can see myself playing for.
Question: Have you set any dates for official visits?
Hicks: I don't have my schedule with me. My mom is trying to set up all that stuff. I have no clue on that stuff."
Question: What interest you about Texas?
"I have always liked Texas, as everybody knows. Coach Muschamp, I like his style. He coaches with a lot of energy. He tries to teach and I like that out of a coach. I want to learn the game."
Question: We have listed that you are planning official visits to Ohio State on September 11th and Texas on October 9th. Is that the case?
Hicks: "Those official visit dates are tentative dates, they are not finalized yet."
Question: What schools are still on your list?
Hicks: "Texas, Florida, Ohio State, USC, Georgia, and Alabama.
Question: What has been the volume of calls, text messages, and emails that led to setting up these conference calls?
Hicks: "It is every day, I am getting something new. It was starting to get a little overwhelming, so this is going to work out well."
Coach Cox- "I think over the summer you see more volume, with two a days, volume went down. Now that September 1st is here, with college coaches calling, the amount of calls is going to go up. With the fact that he is visiting schools for games, people are going to wonder if he likes that particular school, and they are going to call. I felt this is the better direction right now."
Question: Will you be at the Horseshoe on September 12th officially or unofficially? What will you be looking for on your visits?
Hicks: "I am think I am definitely going to USC game whether its an official visit of not. When I go on my officials, I am going to try to compare the schools. I will try to visualize myself playing for that school and in that system."
Question: What stands out about Ohio State?
Hicks: "They are always a good program. I am comfortable with the staff. I have been there more than any other school, so they have that advantage. I know a lot of the other players. I know Coach [Luke] Fickell really well. It is just everything about them."
Question: Is there a chance that one of the six schools does not get an official visit?
Hicks: "All of that is under consideration. There is a chance that one might not get an official."
Question: Are there any players out there that might influence where you go?
Hicks: "Players, no. This is a personal decision."
Question: Three of your top six schools are in the SEC. What is attractive about the SEC?
Hicks: "They are known as the best conference in football. I like the speed of play. The style fits me."
Question: How do you juggle recruiting with the responsibilities you have toward your team?
Hicks: "At this time I am just trying to focus on my team, win games, and trying to get better. At the same time, it [recruiting] is on the back of my mind. It is tough. I am just trying to focus and keep my priorities straight."
Question: What attracts you to Alabama and what do you think about Coach Saban?
Hicks: "I have talked to coach Sal and Coach Saban. Their program is always good. Coach Saban means business. He is a mastermind head coach, and he knows the game of football. There is a lot of benefit in going there with trying to get to the next level."
Question: Will proximity to home factor into your decision?
Hicks: "It has a part in it, you know. It is not the deciding factor. Everybody likes the sunshine. But if Ohio State is the place for me, that is where I am going to go. Climate will not have anything to do with my decision."
Question: Can you tell us about your relationship with coach Ken Norton at USC and what you think about USC?
Hicks: "USC has always been a powerhouse. I have always liked them. I have talked to Coach Norton a few times lately. He came to the school here once. I have a good relationship with him, he has talked to my mom, so we have a good relationship."
Question: Have you had any recent contact with Texas?
Hicks: "I call them once every two weeks. I stay in contact."
Question: What do they talk to you about? Is it more of a sales pitch for lack of a better term or are they just trying to build a relationship?
Hicks: "Yeah, it is more of a personal relationship. They also email my mom a lot."
Question- How involved is your mom, does she have a favorite school?
Hicks: "She is open to me going wherever. She does not have a favorite. She is gong to support my decision. She is going to be a factor. I have been around her my whole life. Wherever I go, she is going to come with."
Question: "Did your mom like Texas?
"She liked it a lot. She knows coach [Jeff] Madden (Assistant Athletics Director for Strength and Conditioning). They have a good relationship. She worked for him when he was at Colorado. She worked in the weight room with him when he was starting his career."
Question: Is there a possibility of graduating early?
"I am still in the deciding stage. My schedule is set up so I can graduate early, but I have not decided yet."
Question: How unique will the experience be visiting for the Ohio State-USC game, with both schools under consideration?
Hicks: "I will probably pay attention to the linebackers, and the coaching- just seeing how the team clicks, and the energy they have."
Question: Does the outcome matter?
Hicks: "No. The teams will be different by the time I will be there."
Question: You talked about your Mom's influence in your decision. You have Coach Cox. Who else is in your inner circle with your decision or does it fall on your shoulders?
Hicks: "It does fall on my shoulders, it is my decision. Where I feel is right is right."