Sports

Stanford tight end Hooper declares for the NFL Draft

 

Stanford junior tight end Austin Hooper announced Monday that he will enter his name into the 2015 NFL Draft.

The psychology major from San Ramon had 34 receptions for 438 yards and six touchdowns -- tied for 10th among FBS tight ends -- during the 2015 season. Hooper averaged 31.3 receiving yards/game.

"After much discussion with my family and Coach Shaw, I have decided to enter the 2016 NFL draft," tweeted Hooper.

Hooper, a Mackey Award finalist and All-Pac-12 first-team performer, totaled 74 catches for 937 yards and eight touchdowns over the past two seasons for the Cardinal. Hooper also was named to the Associated Press' All-America third team in 2015. He did not play during his freshman season.

Hooper looks to continue Stanford's pipeline of sending tight ends to the NFL, as Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo each were selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-4, 248-pound Hooper was the second tight end to declare for the draft on Monday. Arkansas junior Hunter Henry also decided to leave school early. Henry is projected to go in the first round while Hooper could be a second-round pick.

Tight end may not be a position of need for many teams when the draft rolls around, though. CBS Sports ranks only four tight ends in its top 100. Hooper might be the fifth prospect to join the list.

Hooper's best performance came at USC on Sept. 19. He caught four passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in Stanford's then-upset win over the Trojans.

Meanwhile, Stanford awaits any news from wide receiver Michael Rector, who said last week that he was considering leaving school this winter to enter the NFL Draft. Rector caught two touchdown passes in Stanford's 45-16 romp over Iowa in the Rose Bowl Game last Friday. He led all Cardinal wide receivers with 34 catches for 559 yards and seven TDs this season.

— Stanford Athletics/Palo Alto Online Sports

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