Jaden Hicks’ list of college suitors was expansive, but Washington State had an edge where others didn’t when it came to the three-star safety from Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman.

The player’s older brother, Kalen, was a defensive back at Hawaii until last season, graduating around the same time former Rainbow Warriors coach Nick Rolovich took the same position at Washington State.

According to 247Sports.com, Jalen Hicks’ relationship with Rolovich, and his experience in Honolulu, was partially what convinced Jaden to join the coach in Pullman.

Hicks, a big, fast safety, became the 12th player to commit to Rolovich and the Cougars, announcing his pledge on Monday.

“Coach Rolovich coached my brother (Kalen) at Hawaii so we’ve always had that connection and bond,” Hicks told 247Sports.com’s Blair Angulo. “The coaches at Wazzu always showed love to me and talked to me throughout this journey, so it was really good to develop that relationship. My brother has explained how coach Rolo is a great man and always on top of his players, making sure they’re working hard and staying on path. My brother turned out well, so hopefully I can follow in his footsteps.”

Hicks chose the Cougars despite holding three other offers from Pac-12 schools — Arizona, Arizona State and Colorado — Penn State, Boise State, UNLV, San Diego State, Colorado State, Fresno State and Utah State.


A 6-foot-2, 192-pound prospect, Hicks has experience playing at cornerback but projects as a safety in defensive coordinator Jake Dickert’s scheme at WSU. Considered the second highest-rated recruit in the Cougars’ class, Hicks is the second safety, joining Texas’ Adrian Shephard, another three-star recruit. California cornerback Elisha Lloyd is the third defensive back in the class.

As a junior at Bishop Gorman, Hicks, the nation’s No. 68 rated safety and fifth overall prospect in the state of Nevada, had 27 tackles in 12 games and posted seven interceptions.

WSU’s 2021 recruiting class is now considered the seventh-best in the Pac-12 Conference.