Hicks Rotating at Linebacker

A year ago, Jordan Hicks drew the attention of the nation's recruiters by displaying uncanny speed, hips and change of direction.

Now, after selecting Texas over offers from Ohio State, Alabama and others, Hicks is putting those qualities to good use at the college level.

Junior linebacker Emmanuel Acho said that Hicks has been working behind Keenan Robinson at the WILL position in Texas's nickel and dime sets. That would appear to be a great spot for a young up-and-comer with the speed to get out into coverage, but without the requisite bulk (though not small, Hicks is 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds) to play immediately as a three-down ‘backer.

"Jordan Hicks is going to be a great player," Acho said. "He's really coming along. He's really fast, he's really fluid and he has great hips. He's really going to be a great player."

Acho said that there wasn't truly a linebacker depth chart as of yet, but said that he, Robinson, Dustin Earnest, Hicks, Ryan Roberson and Jared Norton were part of "a huge rotation." Acho also pointed out that freshmen Aaron Benson and Tevin Jackson were also progressing well.

* What does it take to play defensive end for defensive coordinator Will Muschamp? According to senior defensive end Eddie Jones, Muschamp requires a little bit of everything.

Jones's answers varied from rushing the passer, stopping the run and dropping back in coverage. But one thing holds true no matter what the situation:

"We have to swarm to the ball," Jones said.

The complex role at end means that Texas has to land a versatile, and athletic, type to thrive in the Longhorns' defense, and Texas should have plenty of those players, including Jones, Sam Acho, Alex Okafor, Dravannti Johnson (who has played a hybrid stand-up end/linebacker spot) and freshmen Reggie Wilson and Jackson Jeffcoat.

* Starting left guard Michael Huey said that he has fully recovered from a high-ankle sprain that limited the senior a year ago. Huey said he suffered the injury in the 2009 season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, and battled through it for the rest of the year.

"My confidence level is way through the roof," Huey said. "It started during the spring when I realized that I (could) step properly now, and I feel fluid and can get my hands in the right position."


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