Ohio State football safety Marcus Hooker suspended after OVI charge

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes safety Marcus Hooker (23) breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Tre Mosley (17) during the fourth quarter of a NCAA Division I football game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan.

Ohio State safety Marcus Hooker has been suspended from the team after he was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired over the weekend.

Hooker, 21, was cited by Columbus police early Saturday morning near Delashmut Avenue and West 5th Avenue just southwest of the university's campus, online records show.  

An arraignment is scheduled for Friday in Franklin County Municipal Court, the same day as the Buckeyes are to hold the first of 15 spring practices.

Speaking with reporters on a Zoom call on Wednesday, coach Ryan Day said Hooker's suspension is indefinite while they gather more information surrounding the incident. 

"We’re very disappointed and take what happened very, very seriously," Day said. "We’re going to let the process play out, and we’ll kind of see as things move forward."

No further decision had been made about his future with the program.

According to a copy of an incident reported obtained by The Dispatch, police found Hooker passed out in the drive-thru lane at McDonald's while his foot was on the brake and his car was left in drive.

A manager of the fast-food restaurant told police Hooker was blocking traffic and he had been unsuccessful in attempts to awaken him when he called 911.

Hooker remained unresponsive after officers arrived on the scene and attempted to wake him up, prompting them to further rock the car side by side and use an air horn on their cruiser in further attempts in stirring him.

“None of this stimuli was successful in awaking the victim,” the report read.

One officer ultimately shattered a passenger window in order to unlock the car and take out Hooker. The report said he was “dead weight” when he was removed from his seat.

“The victim began to awake and in doing so tensed up his arms and balled up his fists,” it added.

Hooker performed a field sobriety test, but refused to submit a breath sample.

Police issued a traffic summons, transported him to his residence and released him from custody. 

Hooker was previously charged with driving under the influence in Pennsylvania in 2018, leading to a suspension for the season opener. He was then 19 and entering his freshman season at Ohio State.

Neshannock Township police also charged him with having a high rate of alcohol in his system.

The younger brother of former Buckeyes All-American Malik Hooker, he started for the first time in his career at free safety last fall and finished with 15 tackles and an interception in seven games.

Josh Proctor took his starting safety spot in the postseason, first when Hooker missed the Big Ten championship game against Northwestern due to an unspecified injury.

Then in a pair of College Football Playoff games, Proctor held onto the role, even as Hooker had returned. 

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman