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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jalen Hooks, CB, University of Akron

Jalen Hooks the standout cornerback from the University of Akron recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
Jalen Hooks the standout cornerback from the University of Akron recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Jalen Hooks
  • Position: Cornerback
  • College: University of Akron
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 196
  • Twitter: @Jalenhooks29
  • Instagram: @29hooks

What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2023 NFL Draft?

My length, physicality & explosiveness. I also have the experience & ability to play any position in the secondary at a high level, so if a team doesn’t see me as a corner in their system I believe I’m a player who can be plugged in at safety or nickel. Feel like I’ve proven that I can play both inside the box as well as outside on the perimeter.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

5 years old, I wasn’t able to sign up initially because I was a year too young & I remember being upset about that so I knew it was something I wanted to do.

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

I’m very coachable, my time here at Akron I’ve had about 4 different position coaches due to the circumstances & each one I’ve been around had major/minor differences in the way they coached their scheme & techniques, regardless of this I was always able to adapt & put myself in the position to make plays. 

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?

Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s

What is the best advice you have ever received?

It’s short & simple but very deep “Trust the process” or “TTP” as my most recent coach Tre Bell says. This applies to the game of football & life.

Who was your childhood hero?

My mother Crystal Edington & father Artel Hooks

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?

Tyson Durant

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Wasted time

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?

Testing positive for Covid during the 2020 outbreak multiple times, that forced me to quarantine for days at a time & be isolated from my teammates & workouts.  

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

Akron is special to me because it allowed me to play Division 1 football while being 40 minutes away from home, I had bigger offers coming out of high school but when I went on my official visit the campus just felt like home. Even though the success rate wasn’t where any of us wanted, it allowed me to get out my comfort zone & inherit all the necessary characteristics to grow as a man, develop into a “lead by example” guy for teammates, as well as preparing me for life after college. 

What is your favorite snack food?

Fruit snacks

What is the best part of football?

The brotherhood that is developed with your teammates from all over the world, even after the game of football ends these are the ones who you will be connected with for life.

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

What’s up I’m Jalen Hooks, if you need a player who is relentless with their work ethic & desire to maximize their potential then I’m the guy you need.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?

One of my favorite players Chauncey Gardner Johnson, in my opinion, you can always feel his presence on the field no matter where he’s lined up & he finds a way to put himself around the football. 

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Juwantae Harbin (RIP) Grandmother Darlene Edington & Grandfather Willie Hooks (RIP) 

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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