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Former Ohio State safety Malik Hooker inks rookie contract with Indianapolis Colts

The first team All-American was taken with the 15th pick in last month’s NFL Draft

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

Three weeks after being taken with the 15th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, safety Malik Hooker has signed his rookie contract with the team. Hooker was the second Ohio State defensive back taken in the first round of this year’s draft, with cornerback Marshon Lattimore being taken four spots earlier by the New Orleans Saints. The former Ohio State safety should provide an immediate impact on a Colts defense that was one of the worst in the NFL last year against the pass.

Hooker still hasn’t been on the field for the Colts in preseason workouts since he is still recovering from shoulder surgery in January, but there is no denying what the safety can bring to a defense when fully healthy. In his only years as a starter for Ohio State, Hooker intercepted seven passes, and returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns. Many have compared Hooker to former Miami safety Ed Reed, who current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano coached when he was with the Hurricanes, and Hooker should give the Colts a presence at safety that they haven’t had since Bob Sanders patrolled the secondary.

After he was arrested over the weekend in Evansville, Indiana on misdemeanor charges of public intoxication, criminal mischief to a vehicle, and disorderly conduct, guard JaQuan Lyle apologized for his arrest, along with confirming that he is no longer a member of the Ohio State men’s basketball team. Lyle, who was heading into his junior year with the Buckeyes, quit the basketball team on April 11th according to an Ohio State spokesman.

In two seasons with the Buckeyes, Lyle averaged 11.3 points per game and 4.4 assists per game. The loss of Lyle leaves a big hole in the backcourt for the Buckeyes, in what is likely a make-or-break year for head coach Thad Matta. Before quitting the team, Lyle was the lone signee left from the 2015 recruiting class, with the other four members having previously transferred out of the program. The former Ohio State guard didn’t mention any plans on whether or not he plans to continue playing college basketball at another program, or will explore other options.

“We definitely have the talent. t’s about sticking with the process and understanding that we are good enough. More than anything, it’s really going out and doing it. We have the guys to compete for another Big Ten championship.”

Ohio State right fielder Dominic Canzone via Tom Reed, The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State baseball will close out their season this weekend when they host Indiana for three games. Last year around this time, Ohio State was getting ready for the Big Ten Tournament, which they would go on to win and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. With seven starters gone from the 2016 team, Ohio State has posted just a 21-32 record this year, which won’t be good enough to qualify the Buckeyes for next week’s Big Ten Tournament.

There are reasons for optimism for the future for the Buckeyes, and a big reason for that is because of right fielder Dominic Canzone. The freshman is leading the team in batting average and slugging percentage, and is second in the Big Ten in batting average in conference games. Not only is Canzone getting it done at the plate, but he also hasn’t committed an error in right field in 46 games this year. The overall performance from Canzone has the Cuyahoga Falls product in the running to win freshman of the year honors. With a core of Canzone and a number of other talented underclassmen, Ohio State could be back near the top of the Big Ten standings sooner rather than later.

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