Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State Football: Malik Hooker Signs Deal With Jordan Brand

With the NFL Draft looming, Malik Hooker is already making money as he works towards getting healthy.

While he has been kept from participating on the field in the NFL Combine and Ohio State's pro day, that doesn't mean Malik Hooker isn't working. 

He told members of the media at Ohio State's pro day that he has already signed a deal to be sponsored by the Jordan athletic brand, owned by former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan. Jordan just recently began diving head first into football, as Michigan became the first college football program to be sponsored by the brand. 

Hooker, who is expected to be a first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, said he never could have seen this kind of fame coming a year ago while battling for a starting job at Ohio State. 

"I signed with Jordan this past week," Hooker said. "They don't sign too many people so for me to be in that position and say I signed with Jordan is definitely a blessing and a shocking thing for me."

Despite not being able to workout for NFL teams following surgeries to repair a torn labrum and a hernia, Hooker said he has heard from every NFL team in some capacity. 

He added that he has gotten back to running recently and said he is itching to get back onto the field. 

"I am really anxious just to be back out there running and trying to cover somebody," Hooker said. "I am a competitor. I can't wait to be able to be out there to compete in a drill or something like that."

Until then, Hooker said he isn't sure where he is going to land in the draft, but that he doesn't have a preferred destination. He also added he has not made up his mind as to whether he will attend the NFL Draft in Philadelphia or watch it at home with his family. 

As of now, Hooker and former teammates Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore are all projected as first round picks in multiple mock drafts. 

No matter where they are selected however, Hooker said the fact that three members of the 2016 Buckeye secondary are being talked about at this level is a testament to head coach Urban Meyer and the program being run at Ohio State. 

"It just shows that Coach Meyer and his staff do a great job of developing NFL players," he said. "You look in the NFL now, you have Zeke, Mike Thomas, guys that were basically rookie of the year."

Since he can't work out on the field until after the draft as he continues to recover from surgery, Hooker said he is trying to impress NFL programs with his knowledge of the game in the meantime. 

"Just showing what I know on the board and in film work," Hooker said. "I feel like it will all play out how it is supposed to play out for me."

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