COLUMBUS (WCMH)–Former Ohio State offensive tackle John Hicks Jr. has died after a lengthy battle with diabetes, the university announced Sunday.
Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer posted a photo of Hicks on his Twitter page with the caption “RIP to Buckeye legend John Hicks. First round draft pick, Outland/Lombardi award winner, and runner-up for the Heisman trophy.”
Hicks was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, The Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame, and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, according to Ohio State’s website. He won the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy in 1973. During his three years as a starter, Ohio State posted a combined record of 28-3-1. He was the first player ever to start in three Rose Bowl games (1970, 1972, 1973).
Hicks very nearly won the Heisman Trophy in 1973, finishing behind John Cappelletti in the voting.
Hicks was picked up by the New York Giants in the first round of the National Football League draft after college, and was named the NFC Rookie of the Year. He played 5 seasons in the NFL before he had to cut his career short due to injury. He returned to Columbus and started working in private business.