”We anticipate him being able to play,” Tressel said. “Obviously, he’s been out for a couple of weeks, so a little bit of rust to shake off, but hope to have him.”
Hicks moved from safety to linebacker in the spring and has been used for his speed as a coverage linebacker, playing mostly on third downs. That speed could be an asset for Michigan State against the Buckeyes.
“He does a great job in space and you’ve seen the type of speed he plays with,” Tressel said. “So any type of jump start you have in terms of speed and energy, you want to use that. That’s what it means.”
Before going down with the broken arm late in the Spartans’ win against Nebraska, Hicks had 12 tackles and two pass break-ups. Tressel said he had been pleased with Hicks’ progression and knowledge after making the move to linebacker.
“I was excited that he picked up the knowledge of the position so quickly, because you knew what you’d get in terms of speed, effort, selling out,” he said. “But how naturally you take to playing down low … because you look at things differently. It’s a different viewpoint you have from playing at 5 yards as opposed to 10 yards or out there on the edge. It doesn’t seem to faze him.
”Whatever you ask him to do he’s gonna fly around, so it’s good to see how comfortable he was.”