CFB 24/7  

 

Ohio State's Malik Hooker: Comps to Ed Reed 'shocking'

Print

The pro day is often a collegiate athlete's last rite of passage before graduating on to the NFL. But for Malik Hooker, he still feels like he's part of the Ohio State family.

"It hasn't hit me yet," Hooker told NFL.com just after the Ohio State pro day last week. "I think closer to the draft because, it hasn't hit me that I'm not a college athlete any more. I'm still here at Ohio State and I still feel like I'm a part of the team and everything. But closer to the draft I'm sure it will change."

Hooker, who is still recovering from the labrum and sports hernia surgeries he underwent in late January, was only able to meet with scouts during the workout. He began jogging roughly two weeks ago and is entering Week 10 of recovery.

"It was just a blessing," Hooker said of his pro-day experience. "The whole thing. I enjoyed the process, especially for me personally because I didn't have the chance to participate in anything but I got a lot of time to watch things for myself. I just enjoyed the process, especially seeing a lot of the best DBs in the country out there competing and showing what they're capable of.

"(Talking to scouts,) that was mainly the whole thing from my end. They asked me about my injury, what I know about football and stuff like that. That was basically my whole process, meeting with scouts from teams."

While Hooker remains tight-lipped about any visits he's taking, the praise keeps coming. NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah and others have compared Hooker to legendary Ravens safety Ed Reed.

"It's definitely an honor," Hooker said. "It's a great thing for me personally to be named in the same sentence as a great like Ed Reed. It's a humbling thing. It tells me I gotta keep working until people say that I'm a great. It's just shocking, man, a great thing for me."

Reed was the 24th overall pick in the 2002 draft, though Hooker has been pegged to go much higher. He's projected to go no lower than No. 7 overall to the Chargers in the most recent mock drafts posted to NFL.com.

Hooker still has no idea where he'll end up.

"I'm still unsure," he said. "I've never been in this process before, but I'm just sitting back and enjoying the ride. I'm taking the leadership from some of the older guys who have been through this before and going off that. The guys just tell me not to worry about it, get healthy and things will work out in my favor."

Perhaps Hooker maintains a closeness to Ohio State for this reason. While most prospects are worried about where and when they'll get selected, he has an army of recently drafted former teammates at his back making sure he doesn't fret.

"They've definitely been helpful," Hooker said. "We all met up one day to get some food. We catch up all the time and even if I have a random question I'll hit them up just to see what they're doing. They always answer back for me."

Print

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop