Hickson happy for Sproles

What a Happy Birthday goodie.

Eric Hickson celebrated his 29th birthday Saturday only to have the title of "All-time Rushing Leader" stripped from his Kansas State resume.

That happened Saturday at KSU Stadium when Darren Sproles rushed for 98 yards, upping his three-year career total to 2,619, or 82 more than Hickson's four-year total of 2,537 yards.

"I'm OK with it ... really," Hickson said Saturday from his Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., home. "From what I've heard from Mike (running back coach Michael Smith), he's a great kid and a tremendous football player. I hear he's a one-of-a-kind guy."

Playing for the Wildcats from 1994-95 and 1997-98, Hickson rushed for 2,537 yards, leading the Wildcats during his junior season with 750 yards, and again being tops as a senior with 902 yards.

That one-year mark stood until 2001 when Josh Scobey rushed for 1,263 yards, and then was shattered by Sproles last year with 1,465.

"It's time to pass those records on to someone else," Hickson said.

Laughing, he added, "But I can tell my kids and grandkids that I 'was' a record-holder at one time."

While the 5-foot-7, 188-pound Sproles is a jittery runner, but with deceiving power, Hickson was a 5-8, 200-pound, in his words, ''down-hill runner.''

''I was more five or six yards and a cloud of dust, but sooner or later I'd bust the big one,'' said Hickson.

While Sproles has a shifty Ell Roberson at quarterback, Hickson had the talents of Michael Bishop.

''For both of us, that's good and bad,'' Hickson said of having a running threat at quarterback. ''It's good to have two threats, but when you do, teams load the box against you, which makes it tough to run.''

Laughing, Hickson added, ''Plus with Bishop, he kept it quite a bit.''

While having a brief look-see with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent, Hickson said he definitely misses football, and specifically, the family atmosphere he enjoyed at Kansas State.

''I miss going to the complex on Friday nights before a home game and just being with the guys,'' Hickson said. ''The watching movies, the laughing, the giggling ... just the family atmosphere.''

Since completing his eligibility at K-State, Hickson has lived between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles, where he has served as a script reader for World Premier Pictures.

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