Hooper joins the Cardinal
Austin Hooper had an idea about where he wanted to play college football well before Sunday afternoon. So when the first domino fell on Friday, things moved quickly - really quickly. The last 72 hours have gone by fast, sure, but they were also as productive as any.
Things were certainly efficient. As soon as the Concord (Calif.) De La Salle senior received word that his Stanford application had been approved, it was on. He arrived on campus for his official visit just hours after being accepted by the university, and, just like that, the deal was done.
His commitment to the Cardinal was simply the bow on a hectic, red-and-white weekend.
"I got admitted, then it was the visit, then I just committed," Hooper said, reflecting on the past few days as he departed the school's Palo Alto campus. "I always wanted to go there, but as signing day got closer and closer and closer, Stanford started to get more and more interesting. I knew I wanted to go there. At the beginning, I didn't know, I guess, but I knew after a while."
Hooper plays both offense and defense at De La Salle and was recruited by Washington to play defensive end. When he arrives on campus at Stanford, however, he'll line up as a tight end. It's a decision that doesn't seem to matter much to the 6-foot-4, 233-pound prospect.
"I wasn't really bias to either side of the ball," Hooper said. "In Stanford's system, they use their tight end a lot. They told me they wanted me to play tight end way back in the summer, so I knew what they wanted me to do."
According to Hooper, who claims 18 scholarship offers in total, his finalists in the process were Stanford, Washington, California and Oregon.
As a senior, Hooper recorded 10.5 sacks and 46 total tackles from the defensive end spot. His uncle, Greg Hooper, also played football for the Cardinal.