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Football: Malik Hooker thrilled for his brother, Marcus, who committed to Ohio State

OSU sophomore safety Malik Hooker (24) selfies with fans following the Buckeyes 62-3 win over Maryland on Nov. 12. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo Editor

From Joey and Nick Bosa to Jacoby, Justin and Zach Boren, Ohio State has had no shortage of brothers suiting up in scarlet and gray. The family lineage grew when 2018 three-star cornerback Marcus Hooker, the brother of former Buckeyes and current Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker, committed to play football for Ohio State Thursday evening.

Hooker’s decision didn’t take long to transpire. Wednesday night, at 9:01 p.m., he tweeted that he received an offer from the Buckeyes. Then, the next day at 12:26 p.m., he pulled the trigger and committed.

“I wanna thank everyone who believed in me throughout my recruiting process and showing me the right way to doing things,” Hooker wrote on Twitter when announcing his commitment to Ohio State.

One of the those who had his ear during the recruiting process was his brother, Malik.

I was happy for him just to see, especially over these last couple of weeks, him stressing out about not been offered by Ohio State already and him wanting to train harder so that he could get that offer and show that he’s capable of playing there,” Malik said.

Malik’s mother called the Colts safety the day Marcus finally received his coveted Ohio State offer, then the rising high school senior called his brother and told him that he was going to commit the next morning. Marcus told Malik that as soon as the Buckeyes offered him a scholarship, he wanted to go there.

“Just to hear the excitement in his voice, there is nothing better than that as a big brother and somebody that he looks up to,” Malik said.

It’s rare for someone to have a brother to learn from who has gone through the recruiting process such as Malik did as a three-star athlete from New Castle, Pennsylvania, in the class of 2014. It’s even rarer when that brother realized his dreams just a few months ago as Malik did when he was selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Given his experience through the recruiting process and in college, Malik wanted to be there to give Marcus advice.

“He asked me a lot of advice about just how to go with it, how to pick the school he wanted to go to but it was never advice like, ‘Do you think I should follow your steps and go to Ohio State?’ or nothing like that,” Malik said.

Instead, Malik said he told Marcus to follow his heart and get a feel for the schools he fit best.

But, don’t get the idea that the 2016 first-team All-American safety isn’t biased in favor of Ohio State. He believes it is “the best of the best.”

“I have high praise for Ohio State,” Malik said. “They have done a lot for me and obviously he sees where they have got me to this far so he wanted to follow my footsteps pretty much.”

Malik and Marcus aren’t the same type of player – Malik said he’s a pure defensive back, but he believes Marcus has the size and physicality to play linebacker and defensive back – but both are rated three-star prospects.

Marcus is one of just two three-star players in Ohio State’s still-incomplete 16-person 2018 recruiting class, according to 247Sports composite rankings. Malik was the 17th-highest ranked player in his Ohio State class. He believes Marcus will surprise people as a lower-ranked recruit just as he did.

“I just can’t wait to see him out there and prove a lot of people wrong because like people were telling me in high school, ‘You’re not capable of going to Ohio State,’ I’m sure he is getting that too,” Malik said.

Since Marcus will enter Ohio State with the last name of a player who had as much success as his brother, he will have ample expectations. But, Malik said he hasn’t had that discussion with his brother yet, and isn’t overly concerned.

“He was always one of those kids that shined brighter than a lot of other kids because he was blessed and gifted athletically so I’m not really too concerned with him feeling like he is pressured because obviously they offered it to him for who he is,” Malik said. “ So, why go out there and try to change something that he already has been his whole life?”

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