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Ohio State’s Greg Schiano says Malik Hooker can be the next Ed Reed in NFL

The former Buckeye safety has a bright NFL future head of him.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“Range is the biggest comparison. And when he has the ball in his hands. Remember when Ed got the ball? Whoo. If he didn’t score, you were disappointed. Same thing with this kid.”

- Greg Schiano via Bruce Feldman, FOX Sports

Ohio State fans are well aware of the ability and talent that former safety Malik Hooker possesses. After all, Hooker put on a show last season for the Buckeyes, with seven interceptions - and three of those going for touchdowns. He also added 74 tackles on the year and helped fortify a defensive secondary that was one of the more terrifying in the country last season alongside Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley. Now Hooker is headed to the NFL and is drawing high praise from his former defensive coordinator.

Greg Schiano coached a potential future Hall of Fame safety by the name of Ed Reed and Schiano sees a lot of Reed in Hooker. When comparing the two, Schiano mentioned their insane athleticism and their ability to be all over the field in an instant. Both of the defensive backs’ range is impressive and Hooker is even a bit bigger than Reed was. With Hooker likely headed near the top of the NFL draft in a couple of weeks, his future looks immensely bright.

“He put in a few plays that I've been asking for since last year. We've been executing a few deep balls. ... I feel like he runs the ball more. He finds different ways and different schemes to run the ball. He's more of a grit guy. He's coached a lot of grit backs in the past. That's something that we as running backs appreciate.”

- Mike Weber via Bill Landis, Cleveland.com

Ohio State running back Mike Weber is already coming off a 1,000-yard rushing season with the Buckeyes and with the addition of Kevin Wilson to the coaching staff, Weber is liking his chances of having another great season. When Weber spoke to the media, he mentioned that last season the playcalling got a little predictable at times but has spoken his praises of Wilson so far this spring. And what’s not to be excited about? Wilson has coached several running backs at Indiana to 1,000-yard rushing seasons including current NFL running back Tevin Coleman who was one of the top running backs in the country when he played for the Hoosiers.

With improvements expected to come in the passing game it’s worth noting that opportunities will arise from a successful deep passing attack in the run game and should provide enough holes in the defense for Weber to do what he does best. If things are clicking, Ohio State’s offense could be back to being run as a well-oiled machine in 2017.

“Once he finally took the job over last year, Campbell averaged 27.8 yards on 12 kick returns, including three for 105 yards in the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson.”

- Bill Landis, Cleveland.com

Bill Landis of Cleveland.com broke down some of the players that Ohio State might use in the kick return game for the 2017 season. The most likely selection is Parris Campbell, which comes at no surprise considering the many long returns he had last season including against Clemson and Indiana. Some of the other options are worth a look too, including Demario McCall, Kendall Sheffield, Eric Glover-Williams, K.J. Hill, and Denzel Ward. Considering Glover-Williams has received a lot of praise from the coaching staff before it might make sense to get him more involved with special teams. Hill is expected to make a jump this season at wide receiver after showing flashes in 2016, and could see an increased role while on special teams as well.

It was interesting to see Sheffield and Ward listed, considering that they’re defensive backs. It’s not too crazy to list them there, as plenty of defensive backs have been great return men in the past, but with a roster filled with speed I’d be a bit surprised if they ended up getting a chance to return kicks this season.

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