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Football: Malik Hooker declares for NFL draft

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OSU redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker (24) returns an interception during the second half of the Buckeyes game against Nebraska on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

Although​ ​Ohio​ ​State​ ​redshirt​ ​sophomore​ ​safety​ ​Malik​ ​Hooker​ ​made​ ​a​ ​statement​ ​this​ ​season​ ​he 
would​ ​be​ ​staying​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes​ ​for​ ​at​ ​least​ ​another​ ​season,​ ​it​ ​now​ ​appears​ ​as​ ​though​ ​the 
All-Big​ ​Ten​ ​selection​ ​has​ ​had​ ​a​ ​change​ ​of​ ​heart,​ ​deciding​ ​to​ ​forgo​ ​his​ ​final​ ​two​ ​years​ ​of​ ​college 
eligibility. 
 
On​ ​Monday,​ ​Hooker​ ​took​ ​to​ ​Twitter​ ​to​ ​reverse​ ​his​ ​previous​ ​statement,​ ​thanking​ ​Buckeye​ ​Nation for​ ​his​ ​time​ ​with​ ​OSU.  
 
“I​ ​can’t​ ​thank​ ​my​ ​OSU​ ​family​ ​enough​ ​for​ ​taking​ ​in​ ​a​ ​small​ ​town​ ​kid​ ​like​ ​myself​ ​and​ ​allowing​ ​me 
to​ ​grown​ ​into​ ​a​ ​man,”​ ​Hooker​ ​said​ ​in​ ​the​ ​statement. 
 
Although​ ​many​ ​draft​ ​eligible​ ​players​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Buckeyes​ ​refrained​ ​from​ ​making​ ​any​ ​statements​ ​on their​ ​draft​ ​intentions​ ​following​ ​OSU’s​ ​31-0​ ​loss,​ ​Hooker’s​ ​change​ ​of​ ​heart​ ​comes​ ​less​ ​than​ ​two days​ ​after​ ​Urban​ ​Meyer​ ​and​ ​company​ ​were​ ​shutout​ ​in​ ​the​ ​College​ ​Football​ ​Playoff​ ​semifinal. 
 
Hooker​ ​could​ ​draw​ ​major​ ​attention​ ​from​ ​teams​ ​needing​ ​safety​ ​help,​ ​after​ ​the​ ​Pennsylvania​ ​native drew​ ​comparisons​ ​to​ ​NFL​ ​greats​ ​Sean​ ​Taylor​ ​and​ ​Ed​ ​Reed.​ ​The​ ​Reed​ ​comparison,​ ​which​ ​came from​ ​OSU​ ​co-defensive​ ​coordinator​ ​Greg​ ​Schiano​ ​after​ ​Hooker​ ​returned​ ​three​ ​of​ ​his​ ​six interceptions​ ​for​ ​touchdowns before picking up another pick on Saturday.
 
Against​ ​Clemson,​ ​Hooker​ ​was​ ​a​ ​bright​ ​spot​ ​in​ ​a​ ​disappointing​ ​team​ ​performance.​ ​​ ​He​ ​finished the game​ ​with​ ​seven​ ​tackles,​ ​a​ ​half​ ​tackle​ ​for​ ​loss,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​highlight​ ​reel​ ​interception​ ​in​ ​the​ ​endzone.  
 
The​ ​2017​ ​NFL​ ​draft​ ​is​ ​scheduled​ ​for​ ​April​ ​27​ ​in​ ​Philadelphia.

 

 

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