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Former Ohio State Safety Marcus Hooker Transferring To Youngstown State

After starting at free safety in 2020, Hooker saw just 39 defensive snaps for the Buckeyes last season.

Former Ohio State safety Marcus Hooker announced on Friday he is transferring to Youngstown State, where he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

A former three-star prospect from New Castle, Pa., Hooker came to Columbus with great expectations after his older brother, Malik Hooker, became a consensus All-American and first-round pick following his only season as a starter with the Buckeyes in 2016.

The younger Hooker even followed the same path by earning a starting role at free safety as a redshirt sophomore in 2020, but saw his playing time trail off toward the end of the year due to injuries and special teams play. He was limited to just special teams duties during Ohio State’s run to the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

Hooker was suspended from the team twice during his career, most recently in March 2021 after Columbus Police found him unresponsive at the wheel in a McDonald’s drive-thru. He pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence, was fined and had his driver’s license suspended with limited privileges for one year.

After being reinstated by head coach Ryan Day in July, Hooker played just 39 defensive snaps for the Buckeyes last season. He then missed last month’s spring game with an undisclosed injury, which caused him to fall further down the depth chart and enter his name into the transfer portal on April 26.

Hooker finished his Ohio State career with 32 tackles, four pass break ups and one interception in 34 games. He’s one of four defensive backs to depart the program this spring, joining cornerback Lejond Cavazos (North Carolina) and safeties Bryson Shaw (USC) and Andre Turrentine (Tennessee).

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