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Football: Malik Hooker ‘100 percent’ sure right now in returning to Ohio State

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OSU redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker (24) and OSU sophomore linebacker Jerome Baker (17) celebrate Hooker's pick-six in the first half of the Buckeyes 30-27 overtime win against Michigan on Nov. 26. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

OSU redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker (24) and OSU sophomore linebacker Jerome Baker (17) celebrate Hooker’s pick-six in the first half of the Buckeyes 30-27 overtime win against Michigan on Nov. 26. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

Once unknown to Ohio State football fans, OSU redshirt sophomore Malik Hooker emerged as one of the nation’s best safeties on a record-setting defense. Now, he intends to continue to add to the record book in the 2017 season.

Hooker, originally from New Castle, Pennsylvania, and a three-star recruit who committed to OSU in 2014, spent the early part of his career playing behind former Buckeyes and current NFL safety Tyvis Powell and Vonn Bell. It was assumed that Hooker would take his leave after his only season of play after hauling in a conference-leading six interceptions, including three for a touchdown.

His most recent pick came in the final game of the season versus Michigan — the first of two interceptions for scores — at 4:03 in the second quarter, to put OSU up 7-3.

“Right now, it’s 100 percent sure I’m coming back to Ohio State,” Hooker said in an interview with The Dispatch.

When and where OSU will play next has not been determined. The College Football Playoff committee will announce its selections for both the playoff and bowl games on Dec. 4. Currently, The Buckeyes are ranked at No. 2, and will await the outcome of No. 6 Wisconsin versus No. 7 Penn State in the Big Ten title game.

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