Ohio State football player profiles: Malik Hooker

We tell the story of Malik Hooker's recruitment, talk about his future in Columbus, and more.

Land-Grant Holy Land's Ohio State 2014 National Signing Day Coverage

The Buckeyes have had some success in the state of Pennsylvania over the past couple of decades, even though things have slowed down over the past several years. With that being said, Urban Meyer and his staff were able to land a player from the state in their "Dream '14" recruiting class in the form of New Castle (PA) athlete Malik Hooker.

Take a trip down memory lane and find out what kind of early impact he could have for the Buckeyes, as we bring you "Bucks to the Future", the Malik Hooker story.

Vitals

Height: 6'2

Weight: 185 pounds

247Sports Composite: Number 13 athlete, eight ranked player in the state of Pennsylvania, and 348th overall prospect in the 2014 recruiting class.

High School: Newcastle High School, New Castle Pennsylvania

Origin Story

This was one one of, if not the most surprising commitments in the 2014 class as a whole. It might of been shocking that he eventually decided to become part of this class, but the timing of his commitment. So let's get started on telling the story of the standout athlete's commitment.

His recruitment picked up following a strong junior showing on the gridiron, where he was a late riser in the recruiting process. The offers he received included scholarship offers from the likes of Arizona, Michigan, Navy, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple, West Virginia, and Youngstown State.

When he received an offer from the Scarlet and Gray on May 7, 2013, many people with knowledge of Ohio State recruiting thought the Bucks would be a legitimate player in his recruitment as long as the offer the one made was a committable one and it was unclear at the time the offer took place.

Hooker made his first ever trip to Columbus just about a month later on June 9, where he had a very good trip and many thought the Buckeyes pulled into the lead in his recruitment following the visits, though his recruitment was by no means over... or at least that was what many thought.

Everything went quiet for awhile when it came to Hooker's recruitment. There wasn't much news at all over the next six weeks of his process.

Then on July 29, 2013, the standout athlete surprised many by verbally committing to Ohio State over the likes of Penn State, Michigan, and other top schools. His commitment came completely out of the blue. When I spoke with Hooker after he signed his National Letter of Intent, he mentioned that his favorite recruiting memory was reporters calling/reaching out to him after his commitment and that nobody saw it coming.

From here on, his recruitment was a pretty uneventful one. He enjoyed a relatively successful football season and took his official visit to Columbus just a week before National Signing Day hit. He then signed and faxed his NLOI to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center just a couple of days later, officially becoming a member of the Ohio State football program.

Things didn't quite end there as he also starred on the basketball court, which was actually his first love (Hooker hasn't been playing football for very long as a matter of fact). He led his high school to a state championship on the hardwood in a season that was highlighted by a massive dunk (see: below) that went viral across the sporting world. Who knows; maybe he could help Coach Matta and company on the basketball court at some point in time.

2014 Prospectus

It's hard to make on call on whether or not certain incoming recruits will take a redshirt this year, but Hooker is one of a select few that I'm pretty confident takes a year in order to improve his knowledge of the game and put in work in the weight room.

Hooker played wide receiver and safety at the high school level and could even fit in at the cornerback position with some work, but I'm pretty sure he's going to end up being a safety upon his arriving in Columbus next month, where he could see the most success in college. I wouldn't rule out cornerback either as he could definitely be a fit there in couple of years. We'll just have to wait and see.

He hasn't been playing football very long as he focused on basketball in his early years of competitve athletics, so he still needs to learn some more about the game of football. With that said, he has quite a bit of potential and could up being a very good player at the next level.

It will be fun to monitor Hooker's progress as a Buckeye, especially because there are so many unknowns on whether or not he'll be a successful college football player.

Land-Grant Holy Land football analyst Christopher Jason had more to say on the future Ohio State defensive back.

Hooker will be a fascinating player to watch during spring ball to see where he ends up. He has all the tools to play receiver, safety or corner; he has the height and the ball skills to shine on either side of the ball and it ultimately could be a numbers game with him. Right now, with the receiving corps being somewhat full, I can see Hooker starting off as a cornerback or possibly safety depending how big he gets. He has the ball skills to play anywhere in the defensive backfield, and it all depends on where the coaching staff sees him being most effective.

Obligatory Highlights

Did you know...

- Hooker led his basketball team to not just a state championship, but a perfect record in his senior season of high school.

- He's probably played the least amount of competitive football of anyone in Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class.

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