Anthony Kelly doesn’t mince words when it comes to Khalif Hocker.
The Ohio State legend and multi-time professional all-star has seen some good ones come through the Resolute program. There’s a prevailing thought that Hocker, a class of 2025 attackman from St. Xavier (Ohio), could eventually be the best of them all.
“Khalif is one of the most dynamic players to be a part of the Resolute family,” Kelly said. “His athleticism and versatility, mixed with his toughness and competitiveness, put him on a completely different level than any other player in the 2025 class. He is absolutely dominant in the field game being totally ambidextrous, but also in the box game proving he’s a truly unique American player. Khalif consistently makes everyone on the field around him better, while constantly striving to improve his game.”
Ohio Defenses Are On Notice
So yeah, pretty effusive praise, but Hocker’s got the game to back it up. The 5-11, 180-pound righty sniped 44 goals to go along with 20 assists last spring, announcing his arrival to Ohio high school lacrosse with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. There isn’t much of a perceived weakness in his skill set, and he’ll be the focal point of every opponent he sees this spring. For that, he’s the fifth five-star announced in the class of 2025. He joins lefty attackman Cam Kelley (Taft, Conn. / Prime Time), goalie Josh Marcus (Staples, Conn. / Eclipse), LSM Will Pedicano (Delbarton, N.J. / Leading Edge) and LSM / defenseman Parker McDonald (St. Anthony’s, N.Y. / Team 91 LI) in the five-star ranks.
Despite that, there’s plenty of evidence to surmise that Hocker hasn’t even come close to hitting his ceiling. That’s a downright terrifying proposition for any defenses that have to go up against him.
“Not only is Khalif ambidextrous and one of the best shooters and finishers I have ever seen, his vision and field awareness sets him apart and makes those around him better,” St. Xavier coach Nate Sprong said. “His creative style and passion for the game is unrivaled.”
There really isn’t much not to like about Hocker and his game. He’s a threat to dodge and score from anywhere on the field. That allows him to dictate matchups and makes him a mismatch for defenses all over, particularly with his two-handed shooting ability.
Hocker’s box background shows up in spades when you watch him play in field. He does an outstanding job of making quick, simple plays to pull defenders out of position, even if the play doesn’t always end up in the stat sheet. Hocker dodges with his head up and plays an unselfish game. He knows that someone’s going to be open with all of the defensive attention that he draws.
Physically, Hocker’s overall frame doesn’t tower over others, but he owns the weight room and is almost impossible to knock off the ball as a result. Hocker deadlifts an eye-popping 605 pounds while also squatting 365 pounds and benching 205 pounds. He drives through contact and knows that there aren’t many defensemen who can withstand his physicality. Despite that, he’s also got the quick feet and explosiveness to run around guys, so, sure, have fun with that.
As is the custom with every high-end Ohio native, Ohio State will likely be a factor for Hocker. Despite that, elite attackmen get attention from everyone, so Hocker should have his pick of all of the best schools in the country.