Hicks told RaiderPower.com later that evening the call consisted mostly of Morris gauging how much Hicks would still be interested in the Red Raiders. You see, Hicks is a Tech legacy with, as he puts it, "many ties to West Texas."
In fact, Hicks told RaiderPower.com in an interview back in March he grew up rooting for the Red Raiders and that receiving an offer from them would be a "dream come true". Only, shortly after that story was published Stidham announced his commitment to Tech and the Red Raiders stopped recruiting him.
"Yeah, nobody likes being, I guess a second choice to anybody, but I mean I didn't hold it against Tech, I understood everybody wanted Stidham," Hicks said. "I understand why they stopped recruiting me after he committed. That's understandable. I'll admit at first it bothered me a little bit, but then after that I let it go."
Ben Hicksdid not seem to feel sorry for himself. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound quarterback, who already had a stellar junior season at Midway on his resume (3,741 yards, 36 touchdowns, 9-3 record), committed to Houston in early May. He then earned some notoriety, not to mention a coveted spot at the Elite 11 nationals with a stellar performance at a Nike Camp held at Ohio State in June.
The following month in Beaverton, Ore. he not only competed in the Elite 11 national finals against the top QBs in the country, he nearly won the whole thing, finishing second to only Blake Barnett of Corona Santiago, Calif.
"I'm very appreciative of what everybody with the Elite 11 and the Opening did for me, you know, giving me a chance," Hicks said. "I like to think that I was the same player before the Opening, so it kind of bothered me that I blew up because of that, but it's understandable. I've had a lot more contact with other coaches and other schools through the Elite 11. It's been good and definitely helped with recruiting."
In August he signed a financial aid agreement with Houston, strengthening his commitment to the Cougars. Hicks then led Midway to another strong season, finishing 12-1 after throwing for another 3,400 yards and 28 scores.
He appeared on a set course for Houston and then on Dec. 8 the Cougars fired head coach Tony Levine. Hicks admitted in a conversation Saturday that he was looking around, because "not having a coach will do that to you". Houston has since hired Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who will continue to work with the Buckeyes through the College Football Playoff, as Levine's replacement.
"I talked to coach Herman last night," Hicks said. "It went well. He's a very respectful man, very kind. I appreciated him taking some time out of his day, some time out of his practice schedule, to give me a phone call and just talk a little bit, so it was nice. He seems like a really good guy and I think Houston made a really good hire."
Despite the kind words for the new coach Hicks said he is listening to other offers and he explained why.
"I'm still committed, but I'm definitely looking around because of the coaching change," Hicks said. "It's always hard on a recruit, especially when I have been committed so long. I feel like I committed to coach Levine and the rest of his staff so it's been hard, but with all this other stuff going on it's been good to have some options."
Hicks said he was taking looks at Tech, SMU, who recently hired former Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Tulsa, who just hired former Baylor offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery to run the program.
|SCHOOL||HEAD COACH (NCAA Experience)||Factors to Consider|
|HOUSTON||Tom Herman (0 seasons)||Hicks is still officially committed to Houston, but is looking around|
|SMU||Chad Morris (0 seasons)||Morris is known as an offensive innovator and QB guru|
|TEXAS TECH||Kliff Kingsbury (12-13 record in 2 seasons)||Hicks is a Tech legacy and Kingsbury's offense is a perfect fit|
|TULSA||Philip Montgomery (0 seasons)||Montgomery was very successful as OC at Baylor|
Hicks added he will probably just announce his decision on Twitter. When asked if he had a leader or was leaning towards any school he said no.
"Obviously the process has sped up now with me being an early enrollee so I'm thinking in the next couple days to this weekend, I should have my decision made and I can go from there," Hicks said.
"To be honest with you I really don't have a leader," Hicks said. "I'm lost and I'm trying to talk with my family and trying to handle this process the right way and take as much time as possible to sit down with my mom and my dad and really discuss the pros and cons of each school and how it's going to fit me best. I'm trying to give each college a chance."
Speaking of his parents, with his father being a Tech graduate and previously mentioned ties to West Texas, Hicks admitted his family was excited about the offer from Kingsbury on Wednesday.
How did conversations with Kingsbury and Eric Morris go over the past couple days? What did they talk about?
"They just talked to me about the situation at quarterback right now and I think it's pretty obvious that I would fit into their system by how much they throw the ball and what they do by stretching the field vertically," Hicks said. "They more just kind of talked about what has been going on with the quarterback situation and how I would come in in the spring and do."
Ultimately, what is Hicks looking for in a program? How important is playing time to him?
"I'm just looking for a good relationship with the coaches," Hicks said. "You're never guaranteed playing time. You have to earn your playing time no matter where you go. They can tell you that all you want to hear, but you have to go earn your spot, so it's more relationships and education for me."
Also atop Texas Tech's wish list for the current recruiting cycle in Hicks' Midway teammate, four-star defensive back Kahlil Haughton.
"We've talked about it (Tech offering Hicks), but we're not trying to do a double commitment or anything like that," Hicks said. "He's just kind of excited about the offer for me. I mean we're close, but it's not anything like that."
Stay tuned to RaiderPower.com for the latest news on Hicks' recruitment as he draws closer to a decision.