ATHENS -- Not much about college football recruiting is ever absolute, but this much seems clear: When a team offers a fullback a scholarship, theyre going to play him.
Thus, when Quayvon Hicks arrived on the Georgia campus this summer, he did so with the awareness that he better get ready.
The product of Pierce County might not have been the most high profile member of the signing class. But he figures to get more snaps than a lot of his fellow freshmen.
Hes gonna play, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. Is he gonna be the best hes gonna be in Week 1, no. But by the end of the year I think hes gonna be a very good fullback.
Hicks was a 230-pound back and defensive end when Georgia first noticed him. He was playing in a wing-T offense at Pierce County, and any college aspirations usually revolved around a more high profile position.
Georgia receivers coach Tony Ball, who handled Hicks recruitment, first opened Hicks eyes to the possibility of being a college fullback.
He saw some potential. He saw what I looked like and what I could grow into, Hicks said.
Hicks committed to Georgia in June of 2011, before his senior year of high school. It was a commitment that didnt make much news, and as signing day came and went, he was largely an afterthought.
But when Hicks arrived this summer, he impressed veterans by taking a leadership role among the Bulldogs freshmen. Defensive end Abry Jones recalled that Hicks was leading the young players in workouts.
But something else stood out to Jones:
I didnt realize he was gonna be that big coming out of high school, Jones said.
Hicks said hes now at 260 pounds, which fills out his 6-foot-4 frame quite nicely. When Georgias fullbacks stand together, Hicks stands out: Hes bigger than Merritt Hall and Zander Ogletree, two of the other top fullbacks on the depth chart. Hes a little smaller, but wider, than Richard Samuel, the senior who is splitting his time between tailback and fullback.
Actually, last years starter, Bruce Figgins, was bigger. But he was also a converted tight end who never received a carry. Thats not as much of a problem for Hicks, who has known for more than a year that he will be a fullback.
But its not quite as simple as knowing to run, block and occasionally get passes out of the backfield. He was used to playing in the wing-T. Now he has to learn the pro-style offense.
Back in high school, Hicks said, his job entailed basically pass protection and (then) Id get back on defense.
But the coaches are pushing him now, and reports out of camp have been largely positive.
Its a matter of time, Bobo said when asked about Hicks development. Hes a prototypical body, hes a guy that some of those NFL fullbacks have. He can bend. Hes got power, and when he learns how to do it and use his power angles (hell be better). Its a learning process, and weve gotta get him ready.
Hicks also acknowledged hes not quite there.
I just want to be prepared. And Im preparing now (for) when that opportunity is presented, Hicks said. Coach (Mark) Richt, he stays on me, all the coaches stay on me. They just want to bring whats in me out of me.