The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their college careers, as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.
It took Ronnie Hickman exactly one year from when he was offered a scholarship to ultimately commit to Ohio State, but his loyalties were never in doubt since the day he received his offer.
The Hickman File
- Class: 2019
- Size: 6-foot-1, 200 pounds
- Pos: S
- School: DePaul Catholic (Wayne, NJ)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 9 (S)
“It means everything. It's just a dream come true," Hickman said at the time, explaining that he's been an Buckeye fan since he could walk.
Hickman was ecstatic to receive an Ohio State scholarship offer, and now the Buckeyes are undoubtably ecstatic to hold a letter of intent from one of the most talented and versatile players in the country.
Wherever he lines up on the defensive side of the ball, Hickman is a force. He's a sure tackler, has a nose for the ball and takes great angles. That helped him rack up 19 tackles – one for a loss – his senior season while breaking up five passes and forcing a fumble.
Like many high-level high school football players, Hickman dominated both sides of the ball. His senior season, Hickman finished with 609 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 26 catches while also rushing for 23 yards and a score.
But his final season came to an unceremonious end. Hickman tore his ACL late in the season, bringing his high school career to a close. Though he is expected to make a full recovery, the injury will cost Hickman a chance to play in this season's All-American Bowl, which he previously committed to play in.
Proud to announce that I will be attending the U.S. Army All-American game. pic.twitter.com/hsHANsAqzB— Ronnie Hickman (@asvprocket_) May 13, 2018
Hickman was listed as an athlete throughout the recruiting process because of his versatility, but he's expected to play safety at Ohio State, joining three-star safety Bryson Shaw in the class.
Entering that safety unit, Hickman will hope to bolster a position group that struggled at times last season, particularly with their angles, tackling and pursuit of the ballcarrier – all strengths of Hickman's game.
While it's unlikely he'll be a first year starter or meaningful contributor on defense, Hickman should absolutely get a crack on special teams – the "tip of the spear" as Ohio State likes to call it.