Touted lineman gives Cougs slight edge

TWO-WAY LINEMAN Hayworth Hicks of Palmdale, Calif., the No. 31-ranked prep offensive guard in the nation, is hitting the books this holiday season and says he favors Washington State slightly over Oregon and others. He's being pursued at WSU by defensive line coach Mike Walker who -- perhaps not surprisingly -- envisions Hicks on the defensive side of the ball next season.

Hicks (6-3, 323, 5.1) has some work to do in the classroom over the next few months and he's confident he'll get it done. So too are the six schools that have offered him scholarships. Hicks claims a 3.0 GPA on his last report card and is making up a few credits during the holiday break.

The three-star prospect finished his senior season (9-2) with over 30 tackles and two sacks. Hicks said he favors WSU slightly over Oregon, Utah, Mississippi and Idaho. All have offered, except Idaho.

He says the Cougars are recruiting him the hardest and that they want him for defensive tackle. "I really like coach Mike Walker," Hicks said. "I feel comfortable with him. They've called me a few times and I get letters from them everyday.

"I really think the team is improving and will keep getting better. It's also nice because they are away from home and it's somewhat different up there," Hicks said. "I also like their mascot. I think the cougar is a strong animal."

The Cougars may be recruiting Hicks for defense, but the Ducks and Utes both want him for offense. "I'll play either one," Hicks said. "It doesn't matter to me. I'm good at defense because I can fight off double teams and don't get pushed back. On offense, I play really aggressive and hard."

"The Ducks always seem to be a good team," Hicks said. "I don't even know why, but I've always kind of liked them. They are fun to watch and they have great uniforms. I really like their colors. Green is our team color and it's my favorite color."

Hicks does not have any official visits set yet. "I just took my SAT and ACT and will set them up soon."

He has a 2.0 core GPA and a 900 SAT (new version). He also retook the ACT on December 9. "I got a 3.0 this semester, so my grades are improving," Hicks said.

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