Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2013
By Ian Cuevas
The biggest news from Monday came as a bit of a shock, coming in the form of the 16th commitment in the class of 2014 for Ohio State. '14 ATH Malik Hooker gave his verbal pledge to the Buckeyes over Michigan, Penn State and Pittsburgh, among others. The 3-star athlete projects at safety for the next level, and could potentially end up as being a steal for Ohio State.
Hooker told Land-Grant Holy Land that his commitment "feels great to get all of this pressure off, now I can concentrate on my senior season". Hooker also mentioned that now felt like the right time, and after talking to his mother and the coaching staff, committed to Ohio State.
With a class that's expected to reach 20 to 21 commitments total, time and space are running out for the rest of the class of 2014. Names like '14 LB Raekwon McMillan, '14 CB Marshon Lattimore and recent offeree '14 WR Braxton Berrios still have some time to decide, but the quicker the Buckeyes' class fills up, the less time they'll have to make a decision. Hooker's athleticism made it all the way to SportsCenter's Top Ten Plays during the month of March, when Hooker slammed a dunk home:
As if that wasn't impressive enough, check out this one-handed catch by Hooker when he was playing as a wide receiver:
'15 ATH Adonis Thomas was on hand for the Buckeyes Friday Night Lights recently, where, from the defensive end position, he was challenging most of the offensive linemen at the camp. Even though he plays receiver for his high school, Thomas could play defensive line at the next level. Thomas seems to be pretty close with Ohio State LB Trey Johnson, and if given an offer, could potentially look very seriously at the Buckeyes.
In some basketball news, Ohio State recently offered '14 PF Payton Dastrup. The 6'9", 218-pound power forward spoke with Land-Grant Holy Land yesterday to give us an update on his recruitment and his thoughts on Ohio State:
Coach Matta called me this past Thursday after watching me play and offered. It feels real good to have an offer, especially since Coach Matta and the program have had really good success in the recent past. I don't have a top 5 or 10 yet, but I will soon.
FL DB target Quincy Wilson is well aware of Malik Hooker's OSU verbal. Wilson says he is not worried, Hooker is a safety but he is a corner.— Michael Chung (@MChungOZone) July 30, 2013
For those concerned about what Hooker's commitment means for Ohio State's chances with '14 CB Quincy Wilson, rest easy, as it appears Wilson is not sweating it, due to his position being cornerback instead of safety. Hooker was recruited as a safety, as we mentioned above.