Kyle Hicks saw the hashtag, and he appreciated it.
When the Horned Frogs offense was sputtering last year, fans made it clear what they thought the coaches should do to fix things: #GiveKyleTheDamnBall. Hicks saw the hashtag, and it made the running back laugh.
“It’s just funny. It’s just like, wow, that’s crazy,” Hicks said. “I wasn’t like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re right.’ Nothing like that. I was just like, oh that’s funny. People care about me.”
— RIFF RAM (@RiffRamTCU) November 5, 2016
Hicks was TCU’s most reliable weapon on offense in 2016, even though the Frogs were reluctant to run the ball for much of the year. He ran for 1,042 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he had a team-high 47 catches for 417 yards.
Despite that success, Hicks said he didn’t lobby for more carries as the season went on.
“Never,” Hicks said. “Nah, for real. I never once went to the coaches last year and was like, ‘Hey, I need to get more touches.’ I’m all about victories. I don’t care if I’ve got five touches a game. As long as we win every game we play, I’m happy with it.”
However, someone did lobby on Hicks’ behalf. Running backs coach Curtis Luper, now co-offensive coordinator, said he pushed for Hicks to get more carries.
“Absolutely,” Luper said with a laugh when asked about the hashtag. “We had those discussions, and [the discussion among the coaches] was led by myself.”
Luper will have more input on the game plan every week in his new role, so he may get his wish. TCU is also trying to reshape its offense to fit the strengths of its quarterbacks, which means the run game and the read-option likely will play bigger roles this season.
Regardless, Hicks said he’ll keep doing whatever the coaches ask. If that includes more carries for him, he won’t argue.
“Everybody [can say], ‘Okay yeah, get Kyle the ball.’ I appreciate that, but it’s just whatever the team needs,” Hicks said. “And if the coaches think that I need more carries for us to win, then I’m also ready to take on that challenge too.”