Since the Outland Trophy winners from 1946 through 1989, did not receive the authentic Outland Trophy, Downtown Rotary Club of Omaha has presented Authentic Trophies to the following past recipients: George Connor, Notre Dame, the first recipient (’46); Larry Jacobson, UNL (’71); Rich Glover, UNL (’72); Dave Rimington, UNL, (’81-’82); Dean Steinkuhler, UNL (’83); Mark May, University of Pittsburgh (’80); Chad Hennings, Air Force Academy (’87); Joe Steffy, West Point Military Academy (’47), Ron Yary, USC (’67), Bill Fischer, Notre Dame (’48), Lee Roy Selmon, University of Oklahoma ('75) and last year to J.D. Roberts, University of Oklahoma ('53) .
The 2009 Past Outland Award Trophy will be presented to: John Hicks, Ohio State ('73)
John Charles Hicks Jr. (born March 21, 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. He is best remembered for being the last lineman to be runner-up in the vote for the Heisman Trophy.
In 1970, Hicks came onto the Buckeye scene and won the job as a starting tackle. He unfortunately missed his sophomore year due to a knee injury, but rebounded to put together two spectacular seasons in 1972 and 1973. During Hicks' three years, Ohio State posted a 28-3-1 record, and each year, Ohio State won the Big Ten Championship and went to the Rose Bowl, making Hicks the first person from OSU to play in three Rose Bowls.
In 1972 Hicks was recognized as a First Team All-America selection and earned his first of two All-Big Ten honors. He repeated his All-Conference honors his senior year and again earned All-America honors, this time as a unanimous selection. His stellar senior season and dominance of the line of scrimmage caught the eye of the voters as Hicks won the Lombardi Award as the nation's most outstanding lineman and the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman.
That Hicks was the road grader for such great running backs as Archie Griffin, Pete Johnson and Harold "Champ" Henson is all the more amazing when considering what he had to overcome. The 6-3, 258 pound tackle started as a sophomore in 1970, freshman weren't eligible, and helped them go to the Rose Bowl. In 1971, he started off the season in dominant fashion before injuring his knee and missing the last six games of the season. He came back to become an All-American in 1972 helping the Buckeyes to go back to the Rose Bowl. Then he had his monster 1973 season. A first round draft pick of the New York Giants, injuries would put a halt to his pro career.
The Rose Bowls
Hicks was the first player to ever start in three Rose Bowls and was part of a monster Ohio State. The unbeaten Buckeyes lost to Stanford 27-17 in the 1971 Rose Bowl. The 1973 Ohio State team got steamrolled by USC 42-17. 1974 would be Ohio State's year as they beat USC 42-21 as Hicks led the way to 323 rushing yards.
First Team All-American-1972, 1973
First Team All-Big Ten-1972, 1973
Second in Heisman Trophy voting-1973
Outland Trophy Winner-1973
Lombardi Trophy Winner-1973
Hicks is married, the father of three children, and has one granddaughter and one grandson.