New Castle football player commits to Ohio State

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Malik Hooker, a standout football player at New Castle High School, has decided to play college football at Ohio State.

Hooker made a verbal commitment tonight to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

Hooker (6 feet 2, 185 pounds) was recruited as a defensive back but also plays receiver for New Castle. He played high school football for the first time last season and showed so much talent, promise and potential that he had almost two dozen scholarship offers from Division I colleges.

Hooker said Pitt was his other top choice, but he also had offers from Penn State, Michigan and Nebraska, among others.

"I just thought it was the right time to do this," he said. "I sat down with my coaches and family and talked it over. We just felt it was the right thing to do."

Hooker is one of the best two-sport athletes in the state. He also is a standout basketball player for New Castle, which has won two consecutive WPIAL championships. He made the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 in basketball this past season.

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Mike White:, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh


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