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Temple's Hooks lands at Cal U

Temple University
Former Charleroi and Aliquippa standout Zach Hooks, left, shown blocking Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo during a game in 2013, has left Temple and is currently enrolled at California University of Pennsylvania.

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Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Over the last few years, California University has become a landing spot for one-time Division I football players.

Currently, there is one former D-I starter who is practicing with the Vulcans who is no stranger to the Mid-Mon Valley.

Zach Hooks.

Hooks is a one-time Charleroi Area multi-sport athlete who transferred to Aliquippa and made first team all-state his senior year in football.

He landed a football scholarship at Temple, where he went for three years.

Today, he is working out in pads for Coach Mike Kellar's team at Cal U.

Hooks, who would have been a redshirt junior at Temple this season, started 22 games on the offensive line for the Owls in 2012-13.

However, he was not listed on Temple's spring roster and the university's Assistant Athletic Director for Football Communications Rich Burg confirmed that Hooks (6-6, 310) had left Temple, but would not comment on the reason.

“I couldn't tell you,” Burg said. “It's something you would have to hear from him.”

When pressed, Burg added, “We had three offensive line coaches in three years and I don't think everybody saw things eye to eye.”

Hooks is not listed on Cal U's football roster for this season.

Although he is practicing with the team, Hooks is not eligible to play at this time, according to Cal U Sports Information Director Matt Kifer.

Kifer said Hooks is listed on the Vulcans' online roster and that the university has submitted a waiver to the NCAA on his eligibility and is currently awaiting a decision.

Kifer said there is no timetable for the NCAA to get back to the university on the request.

“With the NCAA, it could take two months, it could take two weeks,” Kifer said. “We're just waiting to hear.”

Some of the more notable former D-I transfers who ended up at Cal U include NFL players Josh Portis (Maryland), Rishaw Johnson (Mississippi) and Tommy Campbell (Pitt).

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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