This is the third in a series of posts counting down the most important players for Florida State in 2012. There are 55 days until FSU football, and that's how many are left on the list. That means no off days. Oh, and these are not in any specific order.
Flew under the radar as a recruit after a broken foot cost him half of his senior season...earned only a two-star rating...caught 18 passes for 285 yards as a junior tight end...earned all-district honors as a junior and was a second-team all-region choice...an outstanding athlete who was a double-figure scorer on the basketball court as a junior and senior...was a standout on the track & field team at Oxford, where he hurdled and competed in the throw events...the son of former FSU standout defensive lineman Dan Footman...chose FSU over Arkansas State...born December 7, 1990.
Redshirt freshman who backed up All-American Brandon Jenkins at right end and played well registering 18 tackles (13 solo) in 13 games...contributed three tackles for loss and two sacks...earned first career sack against BYU...posted a career-high three tackles in road win at Miami. 2009: Spent his redshirt season excelling on the practice field, earning Defensive Scout Team Co-MVP honors.Seminoles.com
In 2011, Hicks bulked up to 6'4, 275, and played well as Florida State's fourth defensive end. He logged 140 snaps at the position.
The Countdown* 57: Cason Beatty, Punter
* 56: Terrence Brooks, Safety
* 55: Dan Hicks, Tight End
2012: Hicks has moved to tight end for the 2012 season, where his primary function being blocking. Hicks did play tight end in high school, so the transition will not be as unnatural as some might think. If Hicks had to be more of a pass catcher, the transition might be tougher.
In theory, Hicks' size and athleticism should work very well at the position. He will be bigger than most ends and certainly all linebackers against whom he'll be asked to block and seal the edge. Assuming he takes well to the position (and reports from spring were not negative), Hicks should be a big help for the running game.
The bigger question with Hicks is his ability to catch the football. By no stretch will he be a primary receiving option, but it is important for a tight end to at least be viable in the passing game so that a defense is forced to play in an honest manner.
Hicks should be Florida State's in-line tight end, while fellow tight end Nick O'Leary will occupy the role of h-back in FSU's two-tight sets.