The linebacking corps for the Texas Longhorns could receive a major boost next season if senior linebacker Jordan Hicks is awarded a sixth season of eligibility.
According to a report from 247Sports, Hicks will petition the NCAA for an extra season. He has already been awarded a medical redshirt to play this season. Hicks suffered a season-ending injury in the third game of the season in 2012 and then suffered another season-ending injury in the fourth game against Kansas State last season. In both years, he was the leading tackler for Texas at the time he went down.
Since he didn't play four full games in 2013, he should be eligible to receive another season -- the rules about a medical waiver are pretty specific and the former five-star prospect mets the criteria to come back for a sixth season in Austin.
Whatever shot Hicks might have had at playing in the NFL has taken a hit with those injuries, but he could still try to play in the league after this season if he continues performing at a high level.
The senior was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after he was credited with 15 tackles and an interception in the shutout win over Kansas. With 55 tackles, Hicks leads the team in that category and has also added six tackles for loss and two interceptions.
Considered a leader on defense by the coaching staff, having Hicks back for another season would greatly a benefit a linebacking corps that has struggled at times since 2011 and will lose Steve Edmond, Demarco Cobbs, and Tevin Jackson next season.
The Horns could also have center Dominic Espinosa (ankle) and defensive tackle Desmond Jackson (foot) back next season after both went down early with season-ending injuries. Jackson has talked publicly on social media about coming back next season, but the plans of Espinosa are less clear at this time.
Were Texas to get back all three next season, it would provide some needed extra depth for a team that is currently lacking it because of poor recruiting, injuries, and dismissals/suspensions.