Tailback or fullback?

Tennessee recruiters are looking at a productive Mississippi tailback ... as a fullback.

Reggie Hicks, a 6-1, 225-pounder with 4.65 speed, rushed for more than 500 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior at Madison Central High School last season, despite missing seven games due to a shoulder problem. He is being recruited by several programs as a tailback and several more -- including the Vols -- as a fullback.

Hicks has scholarship offers from Ole Miss and Louisiana Lafayette. He also is being heavily courted by Alabama and Southern Miss, and is on the radar of Tennessee, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Illinois.

Hicks calls Georgia Tech ''my dream school,'' and recently told Yancy Porter of Scout.com, ''That is where I want to go. They have the best architect program in the country.'' In the next breath, however, he conceded: ''Realistically, it is going to come down to Ole Miss and Alabama.''

Hicks noted that Ole Miss has ''an unbelievable staff,'' but no architecture program. For that reason, Alabama seems to be his current favorite.

''A lot of people dream of playing for Alabama,'' he told Porter. ''It kind of surprised me when they came after me so hard.... I am just thrilled that a school like Alabama has so much faith in me.''

If Tennessee decides to offer, its chances of signing Hicks appear pretty good. Here's why:

''I am looking for a coaching staff that is going to be there the whole four years I am there,'' he told Porter. ''I am looking for stability.''

Tennessee's staff, of course, has been a model of stability under Phil Fulmer.

Weighing against the Vols, however, is Hicks' desire to be a featured back.

''I also want a chance to play some tailback,'' he said. ''If I get that chance, I can take it.''

Tennessee already has two excellent fullbacks in Cory Anderson and David Holbert. Holbert is a rising sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining, Anderson a junior with two years left. If the Vols sign Hicks, they probably will bulk him up during a redshirt year before working him into the mix in 2007.


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