Thursday Practice Report: Josh Hicks Back at RB

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers coach Chris Ash meets with the media for the final availability of the week before the Scarlet Knights face Illinois in the Homecoming game

The Headline – After a brief switch over to defense, Josh Hicks is back at running back.

The 5-foot-10, 213-pound junior shifted to safety last week to aid thin depth in the secondary. When Rutgers hosts Illinois on Saturday, coach Chris Ash said Hicks would be back with the offense.

“Like I said, he got moved to safety out of necessity,” Ash said. “He’s back at running back.”

Ash did not have an update on Najee Clayton. The sophomore outside linebacker sent out a tweet on Tuesday that read, “I am not done with football.”

Worth Noting – Ash said on Monday that Chris Laviano is Rutgers’ quarterback. The junior makes his sixth start of the season on Saturday against Illinois.

Beyond Laviano, Ash said the backup situation remains cloudy. Junior Zach Allen entered off the bench last week against Michigan in the first quarter and played the rest of the game.

“Same as what they’ve been,” Ash said of the backup quarterbacks. “I don’t think it’s any secret. We’ve been unsettled on who a backup is. We played three different guys, and I can’t sit here at the end and tell you that any of them have taken the bull by the horns and said, ‘Hey, I’m that guy,’ or ‘I’m the guy that can go out and make a difference and should be competing for the starting job.’ Just hasn’t happened yet.”

Quote of the Day – “He’s just an unbelievable person, great player. Great player at Rutgers, did some stuff in the NFL. I mean, he’s awesome and I wish I had a bunch of Brian Leonards on the football team because he plays the game the way the coaches want the game to be played — tough, physical, passionate about what he’s doing and I’m very excited about him getting the opportunity to be in the Rutgers Hall of Fame. Just getting the chance to meet him and being around him has been pretty fun.” – Rutgers coach Chris Ash on Brian Leonard.

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