Hooper Taking It Slow

The Concord (Calif.) De La Salle defensive end, Austin Hooper, is taking a deliberate approach in his recruitment.

Concord (Calif.) De La Salle two-way athlete Austin Hooper (6-5, 235), has a number of offers and the accelerated recruitment has Hooper taking a much more deliberate approach.

"I've been offered by Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Cal, Arizona State, Army, Northwestern and Houston," said Hooper. "It's been pretty cool so far."

But with the influx in offers, Hooper has decided that he wants to slow things down a bit.

"I'm not shutting it down or anything, but I'm not going to be deciding early," said Hooper. "I'm going to take things slow and focus on my senior year."

Hooper said he's been offered to play three different positions.

"Oregon State offered me as a tight end, Cal offered me as an outside linebacker and every other school offered me as a defensive end," said Hooper. "I enjoy defense so it just depends on what the school is and which one I'd play. I really like the idea of being an outside linebacker in a 3-4 like Clay Matthews."

Hooper said another school that hasn't offered but has been showing a good deal of interest is Stanford.

"I went to Stanford's Junior Day and talked to them," said Hooper. "We talked about my academics and they like my GPA and just want me to take a couple of AP classes, so I'm going to look into that."

Hooper also attended Cal's Junior Day, where he was offered by the Bears, and will visit Washington next month for the Huskies' Junior Day.

Then will come the spring and summer and Hooper will shift his focus back to prepping for another CIF State title.

"Unless something changes, I won't be deciding until Signing Day," said Hooper. "I want to take all of my official visits and I want to make sure I'm focused on my senior year and helping us win another state championship."

As a 2011 junior at De La Salle, Hooper helped the Spartans to the CIF State Open Division title, racking up 46 tackles and 10.5 sacks despite rarely playing into the second half, and he also caught nine passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the Spartans' veer offense.

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