This next installment of my “Welcome Aboard” series is about one of the unsung workhorses of any NFL offense, the fullback. Quayvon Hicks is one of two fullbacks currently on the Bucs roster for training camp, but there are no guarantees that he’ll make the team. He’s not only competing with veteran Austin Johnson but also with the very deep and talented tight end group as well since the decision to keep a fullback will likely depend on how many tight ends the team keeps.
Hicks attended Pierce County High School where he played defensive end and fullback and finished his senior season with 60 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 4 sacks while averaging over 4 yards per carry scoring 1 touchdown and lead blocking for another 7 touchdowns. He was ranked as high as the #2 fullback in the country, the 27th best player in the state of Georgia and the 64th best high school player in the country. He also competed on the wrestling and track teams.
In 2012, his freshman year in Athens, Hicks played primarily on the kick coverage and special teams and saw action in all 12 games. In 2013 as a sophomore, he played in all 13 games with 6 starts while finishing with 72 yards rushing and 67 yards receiving. He again played in all 13 games of the 2014 season making 6 starts and totaling 85 yards rushing and 31 yards receiving with 2 touchdowns while winning the Charlie Trippi Most Versatile Player Award. He was also the lead blocker for current L.A. Rams running back Todd Gurley during those two years. In his senior year of 2015, he appeared in all 12 games making 3 starts before suffering an ACL injury in their final game.
At 6’1″/255lbs, he was invited to the NFL Combine but was unable to attend due to the knee injury. He also missed out on his Georgia pro day workout due to the same injury so he ended up ranked 8th out of 86 draft eligible fullbacks going into the 2016 NFL Draft. He went undrafted and was signed as a free agent by the Tennessee Titans, but he ended up failing his physical and never signed with another team until the Bucs came calling back in January.
As I said before, it will not be easy to make this Buccaneers roster as a fullback. The Bucs actually went with five tight ends in 2016 using both Luke Stocker and Alan Cross as blocking backs instead of keeping a true fullback. Koetter likes the “idea” of using a fullback, but he also likes to see versatility from the players on in his 53-man roster. Guys like Hicks who are on the bubble have to show their worth on special teams in order to justify a roster spot so we’ll see if he can do that throughout training camp this summer. Until then, as always…GO BUCS!!!