Jordan Hicks said he feels good about everything leading up to the draft and will be ready to start living out his NFL dream no matter where he's picked.
Hicks said he thinks he can play any of the LB positions in the NFL - strongside, middle or weakside (where he played most at Texas).
Hicks, whom I've heard from scouts will probably be drafted in the third or fourth round, said his adversity at Texas has prepared him well for the NFL.
"To go through everything I went through in five years," Hicks said, "I had off-the-field issues, on-the-field issues, tearing my Achilles. I had four linebacker coaches, four defensive coordinators, two head coaches. I learned to roll with the punches, because I had huge expectations for myself when I got to Texas as a five-star and all of that.
"And then to have to boil it all down to one season last year, I didn't know how it would go. But to just come out and perform well and have fun and then get the invite to the (NFL) combine and the Senior Bowl, it's all played out well.
"I learned when I injured my Achilles that football could be taken away from you like that. So it's about who you are off the field and about the person you want to be."
Linebackers who have played under Charlie Strong have tended to do well in the NFL, including Preston Brown of Louisville, a third-round draft pick last year who ended up leading the Buffalo Bills in tackles last season as a rookie.
"I'm sure having a guy like Charlie (Strong) talk well of you to NFL personnel is obviously a plus," said Hicks, who met Preston Brown while they were working out in Cincinnati, where both are from. Hicks said Brown gave him lots of advice about everything from what to expect at the combine to what to expect as an NFL rookie.
Hicks said he saw the Texas spring game and was impressed with freshman LB Malik Jefferson.
"He was making plays," Hicks said of Jefferson. "He looked good out there. With me and Steve (Edmond) gone and Dalton (Santos) hurt, it gave the freshmen a chance to step up, and it was good to see guys like him and Ed Freeman go out in their first showcase and perform like that. I think Malik's got a really bright future."