Malik Hooker of New Castle high school is a two-sport athlete who has verbally committed to Ohio State as a defensive back.
By Mike White Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Hooker's story is one of a player on the rise. He didn't play high school football until his junior year, and then rose to a guy who had two-dozen scholarship offers in less than a year. Until his junior season of 2012, the previous time Hooker played football was in eighth grade. But he showed so much talent, athletic ability and potential that he turned into a major-college prospect. On a team that didn't pass much, he led New Castle in receptions with 13 for 333 yards (25.6 average), rushed for 257 yards on 27 carries and was excellent at defensive back. Hooker is one of the best two-sport athletes in the state. He also is a standout in basketball and made the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 in the spring. He also could have been a Division I prospect in basketball.
A few weeks ago, Hooker made a verbal commitment to Ohio State. He was recruited to play defensive back. Pitt was his other top choice, but he also had scholarship offers from Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, Arizona and Nebraska among others.
OUR QUESTIONS, HIS ANSWERS
Do you feel any different coming into this season compared to last? Yes sir, because last year I had no expectations. This year, I'm coming in with a lot more leadership and I have more expectations. I'm expected to lead this team.
How is your role different?, I'm pretty much the voice of the team.
Really, why didn't you go out for football in ninth or 10th grade? Honestly, I just felt like it wasn't something I could see myself doing. I just felt I should focus more on basketball.
Who had the biggest impact on you going out for football last year? Probably my uncle [John Cox]. He was just pretty much constantly telling me I should go out.
Name a college or pro player you're most like? I don't know. That's tough. I'm not saying I'm as good as him, but some people say I look like Darrelle Revis when he was in high school.
You answer a lot of questions with 'yes, sir' and 'no, sir'?That's from my mom. She raised me to always be like that.
People might be surprised to know ... I like to write -- poems and things like that.
Are you on Twitter? Yes, sir.
You had a dunk last basketball season that ended up on ESPN's top plays that night. Did that get you any Twitter followers? Oh yeah, almost 1,000 just from that dunk.