March 19, 2012
Booker continues to impress
Follow Noon | Rowland | Givler | Birmingham
The class of 2014 is just beginning to take shape and Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary linebacker Dante Booker has come out of the gates strong. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect had an outstanding sophomore season on the field and on Saturday he continued to impress talent evaluators with a big-time performance at the Massillon Nike Combine. Booker finished with one of the top SPARQ scores of the day at 92.88, including a 42-foot power ball toss and a 4.72-second laser-timed 40-yard dash.
"I'm pretty satisfied," said Booker of his performance. "I'm a little mad at the power toss though, if I could have got just a little bit more I would have had the top (score)."
Booker's sophomore season saw him account for 157 tackles and 11 sacks. Improving upon those totals could be difficult as a junior but there is one area where Booker is definitely hoping to step up his game.
"I think I need to step up and be a leader for the team," he explained. "We lost a lot of good senior leadership so I think I've got to step up in that role."
Things are just beginning to pick up on the recruiting trail for Booker who says that two Big Ten programs have recently showed interest.
"Wisconsin, Michigan, that's about it so far," he said. "I don't know much about either program yet."
Booker is the son of former Auburn defensive lineman Dante Booker Sr. so it comes as no surprise that he would like to hear from the Tigers at some point.
"Any school in the SEC, LSU, Auburn, my dad went to Auburn," he said.
Another school that Booker has some familiarity with is Ohio State. He spent one season as a teammate of current Buckeye defensive back Doran Grant and though the two don't play the same position, he says Grant definitely helped him as a football player.
"(The relationship) is good," he said. "He's a guy that I've looked up to a lot. He's a great leader and his work ethic has kind of rubbed off on me a little bit."
Booker is still in the planning stages in terms of the camps he will be going to this summer but he does intend to hit two perennial Big Ten powers.
"I plan on hitting the camps pretty hard," he said. "I'll be going to Ohio State for sure, maybe Michigan, those are the ones that I know of so far."
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