Deep Run (NC) South Lenoir junior defensive tackle K'Hadree Hooker had a big season this past fall and his stock has never been higher.
In fact, Hooker has already picked up five verbal offers, from Duke, East Carolina, Louisville, North Carolina and NC State.
South Lenoir doesn't have a history of winning that rivals some of the top programs in the state, but Hooker helped them to a better season than they normally have.
"We finished with a winning record but lost in the first round of the playoffs," Hooker said. "It was another winning season so that was good. That's something that hasn't really been done at my school.
"I had a good season. I was all-area and Defensive Player of the Year. I made the North Carolina 2A all-state team. My conditioning has gotten better. That's allowed me to be more dominant in a game. I got better at using my hands, too."
Hooker said some folks close to his home have compared him to Warren Sapp, which is a lot to live up to. He said he has also watched North Carolina's defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who missed the entire 2010 season, and has tried to learn from what he does.
Despite his desire to model his game after North Carolina's defensive tackle, it's another ACC school that currently has his attention.
"I wouldn't say I have any favorites but I really like NC State a lot," Hooker said. "Right now I'm liking them. The coaches are like player's coaches. At the same time they mean business and I just like the way they do things. I like the feeling I get from them.
"I talked to coach Petercuskie last week and I communicate with him a lot. I'm going to their junior day on January 22. I went to the other one they had when they had the open practice for their bowl game. I liked it and I've been able to get to several games. I went to their games against Wake Forest, Boston College and Virginia Tech. I attended two or three practices over the summer. I really liked it. They get after it. The coaches really care about their players."
Hooker plans on attending junior days at Georgia Tech and East Carolina as well. Over the summer he visited Florida, North Carolina and East Carolina, in addition to NC State. He was supposed to get out to Duke but never made the trip.
In addition to the schools that have offered Hooker has been receiving interest from Florida, Oregon, Florida State, Miami, Stanford, Clemson and Vanderbilt.
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