Hooper Welcomes In-Home Visitors

De La Salle (Calif.) DE Austin Hooper received a visit from Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti this week at his school. His father, Michael, broke down the details of that visit and an in-home visit from Arizona State.

Aliotti met with Michael early Monday morning. Though these visits usually focus on football, Michael wanted to focus on the educational aspect of what Oregon had to offer.

"We were impressed the graduation rate and their focus on the educational section because that's key for us," Michael said. "We truly believe in the student-athlete and I want my son to get a good quality education because we both know that (football) could all end in the blink of an eye. To us it's a good solid piece of paper that will help you for the rest of your life."

The presentation by Aliotti left its mark. When asked if there is still extreme interest in the Ducks and visa-versa Michael was quick to respond.

"Yes, of course," he said.

Having played football at San Diego State, Michael has been guiding Austin through the process. From a parent's perspective, Michael is more concerned about non-football issues and getting a degree.

"What's going to be important is the fit from an educational perspective and fit in terms of the social perspective. Is he getting along with the other guys on the team? You know, football is going to take care of itself."

Arizona State, Cal and Washington made in-home visits with the Hooper's this week. Of the three, Arizona State seemed to leave the biggest impression.

"Arizona State I was really impressed with," Michael said. "I had no idea they had a business college and honors college and that was really impressive...what they really stress is character down there and you want to send your kid to a place where they are stressing the right things."

Michael mentioned that a decision will not come until the new year. Austin is currently busy with finals and preparing for De La Salle's matchup with Folsom in the CIF Football Open Division Northern Regional Championship. Therefore, a decision isn't likely to come until the new year according to Michael to make sure "they have everything on the table."

"Unlike some of these other kids, he's going to school and still playing football," Michael said. "He hasn't really had a chance to take a lot of officials and talk to people yet. He's kind of behind some of these people who aren't playing. He's getting ready for the Northern California championship. We're a little bit behind everybody else."

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