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John Hicks was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 21, 1951. He played college football at Ohio State University, where he was a two-time All-American. During his three years as a starter, Ohio State Football posted a combined record of 28-3-1. Hicks is the first player ever to start in three Rose Bowl games. In 1973, he won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award as the nation’s best interior lineman and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. Hicks remains a revered figure in Ohio State football history and is remembered for his dominant play on the field.

After the 1973 campaign, Hicks was selected as a first-round draft choice by the New York Giants. He played for the Giants for three seasons before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hicks retired from the NFL in 1978. He established his own real estate development company in Columbus after his football career. He actively served in organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Central Ohio and the Central Ohio Diabetes Association. Hicks has been honored with induction into several halls of fame, including the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame, where he was distinguished in April 2001.

Hicks was a fiery, emotional leader and a fan favorite. He was dominant on the football field and left a lasting legacy in Ohio State football history. He is remembered for his achievements as a college football player and his short but memorable stint in the NFL.

Hicks passed away Oct 30, 2016. He was 65 years old.


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We’re always happy to pay tribute to the giants of the past whose shoulders we proudly stand on. With a tradition of recognizing and honoring the accomplishments of the brightest and best from our industry, we are happy to present the past winners below. If you’d like more information, feel free to get in touch.

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