Malik Makes it Sweet 16
By Michael Chung
Leave it to Urban Meyer to pull a rabbit out of a hat. After weeks of recruiting analysts batting around names like Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown, Jermaine Eluemunor, Austin Roberts, Quincy Wilson, and Chad Mavety, Ohio State received two verbal commitments from two players that were not on the “immediate commit” radar. The first was Demetrius Knox out of Fort Worth, TX. Though many including myself believed this OL would be Buckeye, the immediacy of the verbal is what threw people off. Now, another name has shocked the world of recruiting.
Standing 6’3” 185 lbs ATH out of New Castle, PA, Malik Hooker became commit number 16 of the Urban Meyer recruiting train. Most predicted OSU would receive at least two verbal commits before August and with two days remaining, OSU has added two new verbals, but they were not who analysts were expecting.
Hooker is rated 3-stars by Rivals and 247’s composite ratings and 4-stars by Scout, ESPN, and 247’s in-house rating.
Hooker chose Ohio State over Michigan, Arizona, Penn State, Pitt, Temple, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Navy. Earlier last week he had narrowed his list to five schools: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.
Steve Wiltfong of 247 tweeted that Hooker will play safety at OSU despite being listed by some recruiting services as a WR. Most list him as an ATH.
Hooker is an accomplished WR. During his junior year, Hooker “was an exciting offensive player to watch on the ’Canes football squad this past season, averaging an impressive 25.6 yards per reception from the wide receiver position. He led New Castle in receiving yards (333), receptions (13) and was second on the team in total touchdowns (11),” writes Andrew Petyak of the New Castle news.
But with Hooker’s athletic prowess, the defensive side of the ball could be a place where he dominants. Malik is an outstanding basketball player, playing forward for his high school and shot 53% from the three-point line during his junior year while averaging about 16.7 pts. a game, and could transfer these skills into a dominant safety.
Hooker’s first love is basketball but felt that football would be where he would be most successful. Could Hooker double as a basketball player a la Rickey Dudley?
His favorite basketball team is the Miami Heat and favorite player is LeBron James. Hooker wants to pursue something related to sports while in college, possibly physical therapy.
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