Recruit profile: Jamal Hooker

RB recruit Jamal Hooker

RB recruit Jamal Hooker

The Basics

Name:  Jamal Hooker
Position:  Running Back
Height:  5 feet 7 inches
Weight:  180 pounds
High School:  Dr. Martin LeBoldus CHS [Regina, SK]
Summer Club:  n/a

Background

Team Canada/Team Saskatchewan RB Jamal Hooker committed to play football at the University of Guelph after initially thinking WLU would be his destination. The 5’7″ 180-pound running back starred at Dr. Martin LeBoldus CHS in Regina. He was a 3-time City and Provincial Champion with the LeBoldus Golden Suns … Hooker was a conference all star who rushed for 1,055 yards and 7 TDs on 130 carries. He also added 313 yards and 7 more TDs on 14 catches. That’s an eye-popping 22.4 yards per reception.  He and LeBoldus teammate Belyk were both part of the 2015 U18 Team Canada squad that defeated the United States 25-9 in Arlington, Texas.

Commitment Breakdown

Jamal Hooker is one of five running backs in the 2015 recruiting class. This position was a major area of need with the departure of Rob Farquharson and only 4 RBs on the roster. Farquharson was the 2nd most productive rusher in Gryphon history, so there is a major hole to be filled with lots of snaps up for grabs. Returnees are Johnny Augustine, Mason Swift, Rob Carnegie and Daniel Salmon-Palmer. With the Gryphons often utilizing a 3-back formation they needed to stock up.

My Take

A big pick up for the Gryphons and a testament to the ability of Guelph to recruit nationally. While the Gryphons had already landed his LeBoldus teammate Kade Belyk, Belyk had family ties to Guelph through his sister, a UofG basketball player. Hooker’s de-commitment from Laurier and subsesquent commitment to Guelph was largely about the superior facilities and full-time personnel that Guelph has in place. Hooker brings a different style and skill set than RBs Augustine/Swift/Jones. He is a fast and shifty back who is a great receiver out of the backfield. Unfortunately I don’t think Hooker will be a factor in 2015. He broke his leg back in June and won’t be a “full go” for training camp. I  expect he will be brought along slowly and work on the scout team as the season progresses. He should gain some valuable knowledge/experience and be ready to compete for a roster spot come Spring 2016.

Odds & Ends

♦  Had a break out performance at the 2014 Football Canada Cup that put him on the radar of CIS programs across the country.

Film Watch

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