11W Community Interview: Malik Hooker

By Jeremy Birmingham on August 18, 2013 at 6:00p
24 Comments
The 11W Community Interview is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. You submit the questions, vote on them, and then we pass the top ones on to the biggest names in the world of Ohio State athletics.

It's been an active summer for the Buckeyes and their efforts to finish out the majority of the 2014 recruiting class. Self-dubbed the "Dream '14," the names added to the list have come fast and furious and for the most part, expected. One addition that was a bit less expected was New Castle (Pa.) two-sport star Malik Hooker, who pledged to the Buckeyes on July 29th. Hooker's recruitment was under-the-radar for most fans, despite earning an offer from the Buckeyes nearly three months earlier.

Today the talented senior-to-be sits down and answers your the questions of Eleven Warriors readers. 

Malik, what position do you think you'll play for OSU? Most recruiting sites have you classified as an Athlete, and you're obviously talented enough to play wherever needed. But I was curious whether the OSU staff has told you they'd like you at any position in particular? - LLJJGG

MH: Ohio State has recruited me as a safety. I'm comfortable anywhere they put me and at the end of the day they change the position to whatever works best, I'll play whatever position is best for the team, whatever position I'm needed.

Can you describe your recruiting process with Ohio State such as when the staff first contacted you until you verbaled?.  Also have you been in contact with the other recruits and have you started recruiting others to join the Buckeyes? - Sin City Buckeye

MH: When I was first recruited by Ohio State it was very exciting for me and my mom, we just never thought a program as big as Ohio State would be interested in me after just one year of playing football. I was in regular contact with the staff, we talked all the time it seemed like. Once Ohio State offered it just always felt like where I wanted to go from the start.

Who is your favorite current college football player?  Favorite former college player, and which NFL team does he pull for? - JohnBlairGoBucks

Hooker is a two-sport starMalik Hooker is a talented two-sport athlete.

MH: I don't really have a favorite college player, but my favorite NFL team is the New Orleans Saints. I started liking them when Reggie Bush first went there because he was always my favorite player. I liked the way he approached the game, on the field. He was special.

With a commitment that kind of took Buckeye nation by surprise, what was it about Ohio State that made you pull the trigger? - WeZBuck28

MH: Ohio State stood out to me me because they were just recruiting me pretty heavily as soon as they showed interest, it was intense. I developed a great relationship with the most of the coaching staff right away, so I felt like it was something I needed to do. I had to become part of something special at Ohio State.

Do you think your basketball career has helped you as a football player? - Bucks Forever

MH: Yes, I do think basketball has helped my football career. It's kept me in shape and helps me stay active during the winter, but it also helps me with my footwork and my ability to see the whole football field. Playing defense in basketball is similar to playing defense in football in a lot of ways so it's certainly helped.

What's one area of your game that you need to improve on? What's your biggest strength as a DB? - Bklyn_Buckeye

MH: Obviously there's things we can all do to improve our game, but for me I just need to become an all-around better player. You're never good enough, you've got to work every day to make yourself better. I've only been playing football a little over a year and if I want to contribute at Ohio State I will need to keep getting better every day for the next five years, just a little bit better every single day.

What expectations do the OSU coaches have for you in the next year (academic, off the field, and training wise)? - OregonianBuckeye

MH: Honestly we've not gotten to that point yet. They are really stressing to me to just focus on my senior year, getting better at knowing the game of football before getting too specific with plans. That is the focus: get better.

Seeing that you were recruited to play DB, how excited are you to work with Kerry Coombs?  Is he as crazy as he seems from the outside? - Right Again 

I had to become part of something special at Ohio State.

MH: I'm very excited for a chance to get coached by the best coaching staff in the country, Ohio State is one of the top football programs in history and it's an opportunity that I can't take lightly because there's so many kids who would love to have this opportunity. I'm going to take full advantage of that opportunity. I've not spent much time with Coach Coombs to be honest because he's not my recruiter, so I can't be sure how crazy he is in person, but I've heard it's pretty wild.

Thanks to everyone for your questions, I know that Buckeye fans are the best in the country and I can't wait to step onto the field in Ohio Stadium for my first game. We're working very hard as a recruiting class to make sure we bring in the best players in the country who are also great people off the field. Thanks for reading my interview and go Bucks!

Follow the 2014 Buckeye recruits on Twitter and check out their website.

24 Comments

Comments

oh_dad55's picture

Another great interview from what seems to be another high character recruit.  I don't know if the interviewer puts responses in his own words or not, but if this is verbatim, it's outstanding.  Welcome to the Buckeye Nation.  We're glad to have you!!

Oh_Dad

stanton6's picture

These community interviews are great, these kids all seem to be class acts!  Keep up the great work Jeremy!

QuadrupleZ

InHartWeTrust's picture

Sounds like an A+ kid, impressed as hell that he has only been playing football for one year.  Wish him the best in his senior season and can't wait until he makes his way to Cbus for 4 years.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

I was thinking the same thing, "Only ONE YEAR?!"
Wow! Hook (no pun intended) him up with Coombs and Marotti and watch the magic happen!

lljjgg's picture

When I read on 247 all of the PSU fans who were devastated they weren't getting him, and how they thought he honestly might be the most talented athlete in the state of Pennsylvania for the 2014 class, I was sold on him. But he also seems like a bright guy, and a good person. Glad he'll be playing for the Buckeyes! 

buckz4evr's picture

Great interview.  Welcome aboard, Mr Hooker.  We can't wait to see you in S&G. 

Mush's picture

Welcome Malik !!

Seattle Linga's picture

Have a great senior season in PA and we can't wait until you officially enroll at tOSU. Dunk one for me! 

northwest_buckeye's picture

Dude seems like a class act. Welcome to the family, Malik.

I've never said I 'hate' anyone because that would imply I had any emotion for them whatsoever.

zbd's picture

Good to know he will play where needed.  Seems to appreciate the opportunity of playing for the Buckeyes. So now we have a hooker on the team?  Waiting for the SEC fans to jump on his name.

Hovenaut's picture

Good stuff, and like that the staff is keeping a presence in western Pa.

Welcome aboard Malik.

Hate Week runneth over

gravey's picture

Welcome to Buckeye Nation Malik!  I'm impressed with your articulate and honest answers to the questions posed in this forum.  That excites me because so often ball players who sound like you are smart enough and studious enough to be real contributors....  and it's nice to have a bunch of brainy guys on the team.   It's a lot easier to root for class acts like yourself.  Say thanks to your parents for all of us.
 

Poison nuts's picture

I agree about the staff keeping a presence in W. PA. I also loved reading this interview. Everyone of these kids has done a great job with them & this one was particularly good. Welcome Malik - Go Bucks!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

nfischer's picture

I believe this may be one of the unheralded gems that our coaches with their trained eye immediately identified as a diamond in the rough.  Can't wait until Coombs works his magic and polishes him into a Buckeye great.

bodast67's picture

Ohio State is one of the top football programs in history...

This young man gets it !
Go Bucks !

 

 

 

     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Another great interview, Birm. Whoever thought of putting this series together needs to be reminded that this is a really great feature of this site. Thank you again.
Also really excited for Malik to join the S&G family. Seems like a humble guy, who has a lot of potential. "I'm comfortable anywhere they put me and at the end of the day they change the position to whatever works best, I'll play whatever position is best for the team, whatever position I'm needed." Sounds like the type of guy that makes a great teammate.

captain obvious's picture

I see a pattern of extremely athletic high character kids with this class.

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

Excited about the speed this young man will bring to the safety position.

pjtobin's picture

I wonder if he will be easier to coach because he doesn't have 6-10 yrs of habits they have to change. He must be a natural player to be recruited after only one year experience. I'm glad he is a Buckeye. He sounds like a great kid. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

ScarletGray43157's picture

Western Pennsylvania has produced a lot of talented football players over many years.  Urban knows this well and I'm sure will continue to recruit this area and keep up the relationships with the coaches and schools there.  
Welcome aboard Mailk!
 

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

BeijingBucks's picture

Western Penn is basically Ohio Eastern the way that state is split by Amish Country...
Love this guy. Malik gon' make us proud!  
Who was our last two sport star? Dudley? Not counting track... Where I hope the Bucks put together a football relay team.

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

RBuck's picture

Great questions and great responses. Thanks.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

ScarletNGrey01's picture

A two sport athlete, neat.  Seems like a great kid.  This is what impressed me the most: "who are also great people off the field".

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

CowCat's picture

Welcome Malik!

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer