It isn’t often that I see another person with the last name of Hooper in the spotlight but this Sunday you may see #81 for the Atlanta Falcons as one of the receiving targets for quarterback Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl.
Austin Hooper is in his first season with the Falcons playing at the tight end position. Hooper was selected in the third round of the National Football League draft in April 2016 when he entered the draft after his sophomore season at Stanford.
During the regular season, Hooper played in 14 games and had 19 receptions for 271 yards and scored three touchdowns. His longest reception was in week two at Oakland when he went 44 yards. In the playoffs, Hooper has had three receptions for 33 yards.
In his two seasons at Stanford, Hooper had 74 receptions for 937 yards and eight touchdowns. After redshirting his first year in 2013, he played in all 13 games at a redshirt freshman in 2014. Against the University of Southern California in the 2015 PAC-12 Championship Game, he had two catches for nine yards and a blocked extra point against the Trojans. He had three catches for 23 yards in the Rose Bowl against Iowa. Hooper was a finalist for the John Mackey Award which is awarded to college football’s most outstanding tight end.
Hooper attended national powerhouse De La Salle High School in Concord, California where he played both tight end and defensive line. According to MaxPreps, De La Salle only lost one game during the time he played for the Spartans.
Austin is only the second “Hooper” to ever play in the NFL. Trell Hooper played for the Miami Dolphins in 1987 as a defensive back.
Austin will be the first Hooper to play in the Super Bowl on Sunday when he takes the field against the New England Patriots.