The college football season is officially one month away! With the off-season quickly coming to an end, Building the Dam is unveiling their top 30 most valuable football players for the 2018 season. We’ll countdown by previewing one player at a time until it’s almost time for some Beaver football.
#24: Omar Hicks-Onu - Safety
With the arrival of the 2018 season, redshirt junior Omar Hicks-Onu looks to step into the safety role for good. He has made progress every year both talent wise and with how much action he has seen in games and looks to solidify himself in a main role for the Beavers this year.
The talented safety from Carrollton, Texas is poised to have a breakout year for the Oregon State defense. Hicks-Onu used his freshman season as his redshirt season, not playing on any downs for the Beavers but providing help elsewhere, as a safety on the scout team. The following year he saw most of his action come on special teams but last year in the 2017 season, Hicks-Onu saw his playing time on the defensive side of the ball increase exponentially, including making the first two starts of his career and ending the season with 38 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception.
Omar Hicks-Onu made his first career start in a Thursday night thriller in Reser Stadium against Stanford recording 5 tackles (1.5 tackles for loss) and an interception on the night.
With the Beavers secondary being as young as they are, and with new secondary coach Greg Burns, there is potential for Hicks-Onu to step up big time this year in a starting safety role. The Beavers secondary will face a daunting task week one with Ohio State, but it will provide Hicks-Onu and the rest of the Beaver secondary a chance to prove themselves right out of the gate.