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Ohio State’s Malik Hooker plans to return to school next season

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Ohio State Buckeyes safety Malik Hooker #24scoring a touchdown after intercepting the ball during the second quarter of the game against the Michigan Wolverines on November 26, 2016, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, OH. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)
Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire

According to a Monday morning report from Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State Buckeyes’ safety Malik Hooker plans on returning for another season in Columbus next year. Not only that, but Hooker believes that there is a 100 percent chance that he returns for his junior season in 2017.

“Right now, it’s 100 percent sure I’m coming back to Ohio State,” Hooker said, per the aforementioned report.

The third-year sophomore safety has remained at Ohio State for the last two seasons while it appears that he will be back for at least a third go-round. However, Hooker is currently in the midst of his first season as a starter for the Buckeyes as he was forced to wait in line behind both Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell.

Nonetheless, many believed that his breakout campaign would lead the up-and-comer to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft while electing to leave school early.

Leading the Big Ten Conference with six interceptions this season, Hooker has notably returned three of those picks for touchdowns. His trio of scores is both an Ohio State single-season and career record as well. Certainly the most important of those interceptions, Hooker picked off Michigan Wolverines’ quarterback Wilton Speight on Saturday to help the Buckeyes get on the board in a game that resulted in a double overtime victory.

“I’m keeping it in perspective just by being humble,” Hooker added. “That’s because the same way things are given to you they can be taken away at any given moment. So just being a humble guy, as if I’m not a player that’s known nationally, I feel like I’m still working for the spot that I have.”

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