ATH Ronnie Hickman details Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State trips

Wayne (N.J.) DePaul 2019 ATH Ronnie Hickman visited Michigan and Ohio State, and Penn State is next.

Ronnie Hickman, one of the top athletes in the East's 2019 class, committed to play lacrosse at Rutgers last summer, but a spat of Big Ten football offers has him focused in that direction for college.

And as spring practices wind down, the Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic standout is making several key visits.

He was at Michigan on Thursday, spent parts of Friday and Saturday at Ohio State, and he will be at Penn State's spring game Saturday.

Hickman, who is being recruited as a receiver and safety, already holds offers from Penn State, Michigan, Rutgers, WisconsinBoston College and Maryland.

In the instances of Michigan and Ohio State, it was Hickman's first trip to campus for football recruiting. And at Michigan, he was able to catch up with former DePaul players Michael Dwumfour and Kareem Walker, and meet coach Jim Harbaugh.

"It was really nice," the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Hickman said. "I got to see the facilities, the campus and I met with a lot of the coaches. I knew it was a great school, but this was my first time seeing it up close and personal and meet with the coaching staff.

"(Dwumfour and Walker) said they loved it. They said the coaching staff was really good, and most of the coaches there have experience from the NFL. They said they treat them just like NFL players, and they expect a lot out of the players."

Academically, Hickman was also impressed.

"It's almost impossible to fail and not get a degree the way they have things set up," he said. "It's really good."

Hickman acknowledged he was surprised about several aspects of the trip, including his meeting with Harbaugh.

"He's a funny guy. He's hilarious," Hickman said. "From watching him on the field, I was expecting kind of a sergeant because he is always yelling on the field, but he's really a nice guy. He's really funny. Me and my family loved him."

Hickman visited Ohio State as a lacrosse prospect, but Friday's practice and Saturday's spring game marked his first football visit to Columbus.

He met with director of player personnel Mark Pantoni, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and coach Urban Meyer, and he toured campus.

"I thought (the spring game) was great," Hickman said. "It was the first spring game I attended. I was excited to see what was going to happen. They had the recruits walk out of the tunnel and it almost felt like I was about to go out there. There were so many people watching.

"I watched the safeties the most, but I did meet with the cornerbacks coach (Kerry Coombs) and I spoke to coach Schiano. I met with coach Schiano with my family, and we talked for a pretty long time. He's a good guy."

Ohio State is yet to extend an offer, but Meyer told him one could be on its way.

"The first time meeting him, I was very nervous, I'll tell you that," Hickman said. "I was walking into his huge office, and he spoke to me and said he liked my film, and he wants me to call back Wednesday to follow up. So, hopefully I get some good news."

Next up is Saturday's Blue-White game at Penn State.

"I built a good relationship with the safeties coach (Tim Banks) at Penn State," Hickman said. "From the first time, I just loved it up there. I like their coaching staff. My family, and my mom, especially, she loved coach (James) Franklin."

One of things Hickman likes about Penn State is the alumni network, but the Nittany Lions are not the only school pushing that angle.

"They don't talk about it as much as Michigan talks about it, but they do talk about it a lot," Hickman said. "They speak about the academic advisors they have. Pretty much all of these colleges have great opportunities to get degrees."

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