11W Community Interview: Malik Hooker

By Jeremy Birmingham on August 18, 2013 at 6:00p
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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.

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