OSU’s Hooker leaving early for NFL draft

UNDATED (AP) – Ohio State All-America safety Malik Hooker is entering the NFL draft after one sensational season as a starter with the Buckeyes.

Hooker redshirted in his first year at Ohio State and played sparingly in 2015. This season he stepped into the starting lineup and led the Buckeyes in interceptions with seven, including a school-record three returned for touchdowns. He also made 74 tackles, third best on the team, and had 11 passes defended.

Hooker announced his intentions Monday with a post on Twitter. He thanked teachers, coaches and teammates for his growth “both as a football player and as a person.”

He said after talking with his family, “we have decided its best for me to forgo my remaining two years of eligibility and declare for the 2-17 NFL draft.”

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