The safety positions have drawn much well-deserved praise this offseason.
Trayvon Henderson has developed into one of the Mountain West’s best safeties. Daniel Lewis, a mix of power and speed, has fully recovered from sports-hernia surgery. It appeared Keala Santiago made a pick a day in spring training. And Jay Dominique took advantage of his mid-year enrollment to make an impact in spring ball.
But this year’s sleeper might be last year’s sleeper. Kalen Hicks has been on restricted workouts since suffering a season-ending knee injury against San Diego State on Nov. 5. That was only his third game of the season; he was activated two weeks earlier.
It was mutually decided for Hicks to relinquish a possible redshirt year because his range and athleticism would be needed in the stretch run. Hicks will be listed as a sophomore this season, but he still might be able to retroactively credit 2016 as a redshirt year because a similar knee injury prevented him from playing his senior season at Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas. Hicks would need to apply for the medical hardship in 2019, what would be his senior year if he does not redshirt the next three seasons.
The Warriors were fortunate to land Hicks, who was poised to be Bishop Gorman’s starting strong safety in 2015 before suffering an injury in a scrimmage the week before the season opener.
Hicks is expected to be fully healed for the July 26 start of training camp.