Hooper is a standout defensive end on one of the nation's best defenses and a star tight end on offense. Hooper, along with fellow defensive standouts David Moffitt, Victor Egu and Michael Hutchings helped lead traditional powerhouse De La Salle to its fourth consecutive CIF Open Championship.
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De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) has four prospective Division-I players on its defense, all four of whom will likely attend a Pac-12 school. Selecting one wasn't easy -- Michael Hutchings is an Army All-American, Victor Egu can line up at both linebacker and defensive end, and David Moffitt is as sure a tackler as exists on the De La Salle defense.
And then there's Austin Hooper. When talking with Spartans' assistant coach Terry Eidson, the veteran thought any of the four players would be great selections, but he admitted that he saw something special this season in one of his players.
"You know, Austin was probably our best player this year," Eidson said.
For a coach who has been heading up one of the nation's best defenses for over 30 years, the sentiment was telling. He wasn't playing favorites, he was merely being honest. And Eidson didn't even mention Hooper's abilities as a tight end.
The film tells you pretty much all you need to know about Hooper. He is a completely disruptive force on the defensive line with strength, agility and impeccable technique. Hooper once recorded five sacks in a game -- he was a junior.
On offense, Hooper is a big, burly target on third and fourth down that produced several key catches for the Spartans this season. Hooper claims not to prefer either side of the ball, but like anybody, he loves catching a touchdown pass.
Hooper's offer list is lengthy, and he has reportedly narrowed his list to two hometown schools: Cal and Stanford. His linemate Egu is currently committed to the Bears while Hutchings is committed to USC and Moffitt is deciding between Arizona and Colorado.