Are we undervaluing Ben Hicks?

I’ve seen a lot of discussion over the last few weeks speculating that Nick Starkel will be our starting QB at some point this year, whether it be the first game of the season or at some point before it’s over. That certainly may be the case. I think we all just want the guy who will be best at moving the offense down the field and scoring points.

Starkel is viewed as better physically, but I wonder if we aren’t undervaluing what Ben Hicks may bring to the team this year as someone who has experience playing QB for Morris and Craddock. I think that experience could prove very valuable in helping the rest of the offense continue to learn their roles as they settle into Year 2 of the Morris system. His familiarity with the offense has to be a big plus, although he’s never run it against SEC defenses that he will see this fall. I just think that familiarity has to help some on the field this fall. Last year, the offense was new to everybody, and the QB Musical Chair System didn’t really allow anyone to gain a lot of experience with it.

It’s going to be really interesting to see Hicks and Starkel compete in fall camp. I’m definitely glad we have both of them.

IMO we should all be hoping Ben Hicks keeps the job all year. My reasoning is that if Hicks gives the coaches no reason for replacing him our season should be respectable. So goes QB play so goes the offense. We certainly learned that first hand last year.

I’m really hoping that Ben plays lights out the entire season.

Just looking at the QB and not considering the O-Line and other players, Hicks gives us the best opportunity early to win, just from experience alone. It’s hard to evaluate him from just the red-white spring game. The cast of players around him will be different at the end of August too. I do believe he is a valuable player, one who obviously has the other players fired up. But, we may not know whether he is valuable enough until after the 2nd game of the season. A win at Ole Miss will do wonders to bring the fan base into his corner.

I think I’m like a lot of people on Hicks,he knows the playbook and has plenty of experience but none in the SEC and he has a reputation of throwing INT and that will get you beat quick.I see him having to start for knowledge and experince reasons but it will be up to him to keep it.

You have to give Coach Morris credit for this. He saw the quarterback play last year, and has done his best to try to improve the play at that position by getting replacements for the two guys who played last year. They are both gone…

Ben Hicks better be an elusive, tough son-of-a-gun if he is going to play behind that line from last year. Except for Hjalte it was a sad sight to watch them try to block. If the offensive line is improved, then this team will probably be respectable.

[quote=“youdaman”]

I think I’m like a lot of people on Hicks,he knows the playbook and has plenty of experience but none in the SEC and he has a reputation of throwing INT and that will get you beat quick.I see him having to start for knowledge and experince reasons but it will be up to him to keep it.

[/quote]That may be his rep, but here is a snippet of his national results for 2017, when he played for Morris as a sophomore (those passing for more than 1,500 yards):

TDs - 9th; Passing Efficiency - 44th, Comp % - 69th, 48th Yds/Attempt, 18th passing yards, and 42th TD/INT. The last stat of TD/INT put him just behind Trace McSorley of PSU and tied with Ole Miss’ Jordan Ta-amu.

I think he will be fine, and a big step up from where we were last yr. Still, if the Oline is not addressed, it will not matter and he will need to learn to throw from the prone position. There is not a QB in the NFL that could be successful behind that line. (Watch out for flying Otackles being picked up and thrown at you).

[quote=“daBoar”]

he has put up good #s but he is about to go into a totally different type league with an OL that is not going to be great so he may try to force things in evading the rush so we will see,He has a good arm and can throw if given time .

I feel like the poor Oline can be offset by QB and receiver’s being on the same page and the Ball coming out quicker. We have some Real Talent at the WR position this year. Also, Hicks has had a ton of time to go through all the game film of the SEC Teams. WPS

I also think that the o line has to be MUCH better than last years’. I think that the receivers and tight ends are the strength of this team. I expect quarterback play to be better and the running backs are a decent bunch. Chavis will have a better defense. Agim and Harris are quality Sec players and the new recruits are faster and more athletic than last years starters. The rest of the team is good enough for a bowl game and could win as many as 3 SEC games if the o line can block and protect the QB. If the o line doesn’t improve, we won’t win another SEC game this year and things will be testy on the Hill. The o line must be significantly better or we’ll have another dismal year and Morris will start to feel his seat warming. We definitely don’t need that.

It will be interesting to see if Morris and Craddock can scheme enough with a veteran QB to move the ball, knowing that the o line will have its hands full with SEC defenses. I think that Hicks should get the first chance. He’s run this offense for 2 seasons and that should give the play callers the entire playbook to use. We need to be aggressive, but not reckless in our play calling. The Ole Miss game should tell us if Hicks is ready for the SEC. If the line can’t protect him against Ole Miss, he won’t survive against better SEC defenses and Starkle will be the next one up.

My guesses are that Hicks will start the opener, both of them will play early and often, one of them or both is likely to get hurt because it is the SEC, KJ will play in his four games and keep his redshirt and the QB play will be better overall no matter who is under center.

I agree totally. The offense will need some quick hitting pass plays that will slow down over zealous defenses. And like you, I think our WR talent is much deeper than last year. We cant help but be better, but then we were so bad last year, a huge improvement gets us to mediocre. Maybe Hicks can get the magic going with this receiving group and they lite the league up. If they steal one at Ole Miss, they will have a few games to build confidence and experience before A&M. You never know…….GHG!

Hicks is the crucial key holder along with Woods at WR (most knowledge of offense) and how much the RB’s have learned when & how to pass protect.
Then there’s all of the young WR talent coming in & how quick they can grasp the playbook make the correct split second read against some of college footballs best defenses & secondary’s. Bad communication causes a QB’s int’s start to climb, so hopefully he won’t have to just hold the ball until he knows exactly what the WR will do or get sacked, whichever comes 1st. I look for Hicks & Woods to connect the most starting the season.