On Sunday, the Ohio State community learned that former Buckeyes offensive lineman John Hicks had died at age 65. Hicks played in Columbus from 1970-73, finished second in Heisman voting in 1973, and was later voted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Hicks also played in three Rose Bowls (after the 1970, 1972 and a973 seasons) and was the No. 3 overall pick by the New York Giants in the 1974 NFL Draft.
In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, two-time Buckeyes Heisman winner Archie Griffin described Hicks as “a giant on and off the field” and “just a terrific man.” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith called Hicks “one of my idols.”
“His impact on our community cannot be measured,” Smith said. “He was a man’s man.”
Several former Ohio State players and longtime media members tweeted tributes to Hicks on Sunday, as did Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer.
RIP to Buckeye legend John Hicks. First round draft pick, Outland/Lombardi award winner, and runner-up for the Heisman trophy. pic.twitter.com/BtRsj7LIFi
— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) October 30, 2016
R.I.P. to the LEGEND John Hicks. The greatest 74 in OSU history by a country mile. Loved him and was proud to wear his number. #legend
— Kirk Barton (@Kirk_Barton) October 30, 2016
— Matt Finkes (@MattFinkes) October 30, 2016
— Bobby Carpenter (@Bcarp3) October 30, 2016
I told John Hicks my name the first time we met, he remembered it every time since. He did that with everyone. Pure class, RIP big fella.
— BEAU BISHOP (@BeauBishop) October 30, 2016
Can't say enough good things about John Hicks & his many kindnesses to me over the years. Tremendous representative of Buckeye football. pic.twitter.com/I5M3A5ZqIv
— Clay Hall (@claywsyx6) October 30, 2016
I didn't know John Hicks well, but he was always so gracious and humble whenever we talked. Among the very best Buckeyes on and off field.
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) October 30, 2016