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Malik Hooker commits to Ohio State

3-star PA ATH Malik Hooker becomes the 16th commitment in Ohio State's class of 2014.

The newest Buckeye, Malik Hooker
The newest Buckeye, Malik Hooker
247Sports

New Castle, Pennsylvania athlete tells Rivals.com that he's committed to Ohio State, becoming the sixteenth member of the Class of 2014. The 6-2 athlete checks in at 185 pounds and according to both Rivals' Adam Friedman and 247Sports' Steve Wiltfong is expected to play safety for the Buckeyes.

Hooker grades out as a 3-star in the 247Composite rankings, but is a 4-star according to 247Sports' own in-house evaluations. He's rated as the 332nd overall player in the class of 2014, the 31st best athlete, and the 8th best overall from the state of Pennsylvania.

The talented athlete from the Keystone State wasn't at Friday Night Lights this past weekend and last visited Columbus June 9th. While he's a high upside talent which many believe could be a real steal for Urban Meyer and co., the commitment still, none the less, comes as a bit of a surprise.

Hooker's commitment further leaves many recruitniks checking their Google Docs because of the present NCAA sanctions induced numbers crunch. There was some sentiment that Raekwon McMillan, Curtis Samuel, Marshon Lattimore, Damian Prince/Chad Mavety, and then either Erick Smith, Mike Gesicki, or a newer offeree like Braxton Berrios would finish out the rest of what's likely to be a class capped around 20 or 21 total. Perhaps this suggests future attrition could still be in the cards, or that the Buckeyes' staff is willing to throw caution to the wind to secure the best talent on their board to position themselves for long term, sustained success, even in light of their forced recruiting limitations.

Check out the newest Ohio State Buckeye in action:

Hooker's commitment has since been confirmed (albeit indirectly in the grand subtweet Twitter tradition) by Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni: