Prized Cal RB Has Eyes for ND

Prized California running back Lorenzo Booker has many options to choose from when he makes a collegiate choice. One of the schools he plans to visit is Notre Dame. He likes the academics. It doesn't hurt that teammate offensive lineman James Bonnelli has already committed to ND. Here's an update on Booker. It's also an example of the kinds of stories you can read regularly by subscribing to IrishEyes and the superb recruiting package that is offered through TheInsiders.Com sports network.

August 14, 2001

Prized California RB Has Eyes on ND

By Chris Fetters
For Dawgman.Com on TheInsiders Sports Network

 Lorenzo Booker, who plans to take a recruiting visit to Notre Dame, was a man on a mission this summer, not a mission to get a scholarship offer as the running back from Ventura, California has more offers than he can handle.

 Rather, the man who plays for Saint Bonaventure High School had a target weight that he wanted to reach.

 "I'm doing pretty good," Booker told Dawgman.com. "I made my goal of getting up to 180 pounds this summer. The team is working really hard and I think we'll be right there for the third year in a row."

 Lorenzo talked a little more at length as to his team's summer regimen.

 "We've been practicing one day a week, on Monday. We've been lifting and running and practicing on Monday and lifting and running on Friday. We've also been doing some passing leagues. The line is looking great and the defense is looking great too with a couple of transfers that have come in. And Whitney Lewis, man. He's gonna be a good one. He's 6'1" and 195 pounds and not even 16 yet. He's already squatting 475 pounds!"

 Booker is the kind of person who takes more pleasure in seeing his teammates excel.

"We did our max testing on Friday and there are so many guys that are really way above where they should be," he said. "My man James Bonelli just power-cleaned 295 pounds."

 Lorenzo has some nice numbers of his own; 325-pound bench, 275-pound power clean and a 415-pound squat.

"I had the bench record until one of our transfers, Lee Martin from Royal, came in and benched 335," said Booker.

 Add a 4.31 second 40 time that Lorenzo recently ran at Rio Mesa and you have a player primed and ready to take on the rigors of a full football season. One more thing Booker is trying to work on this summer is paring down his considerable list of potential D1 college suitors.

 As it currently stands, Lorenzo has 9 top schools that have made the cut. Those schools include (not in any particular order) USC, Florida State, UCLA, Florida, Tennessee, Clemson, Michigan, Washington and Notre Dame.

 Here are Lorenzo's comments on each of the schools.

USC - "I have a lot of friends and family there and it's only 40 minutes from my house. They run an offense that suits my style and I've been hearing great things about Norm Chow from my cousin Ronney (Jenkins) when he was at BYU."

 Florida State - "They just have a great program and it seems their backs have to do everything in that offense. And how many programs do you know that will be in the hunt for a national championship every year?"

UCLA - "I just like 'em. I just grew up watching them and liking them. What can you say? It's UCLA. They are close to home too."

Florida - "Pretty much the same thing. What can you say? Coach Spurrier is a genius and I really like the schemes they use."

Tennessee - "Their fans really love football, and they are another team I grew up watching. I mean, I remember the time they beat Florida State for the National Champioship. I think it would be kind of cool to wear the orange and white."

Clemson - "Well, one of my linemen, Nolan Fisher, has been offered by them. He's 6'6", 300 pounds. Not a lot of people know about him yet, but they will. I really don't know that much about them, but would like to find out more."

Michigan - "Well, the only drawback with them is that almost all of their running backs have been 220-225 pounds, and while I don't consider myself small, I'm not what you would call a bruising back. But man, when you hear the roar of 111,000 people, how can you not get excited? And I like Coach Carr a lot."

Washington - "I like the coaching staff a lot, like their running backs coach, Coach Alford. And Coach Neuheisel too. They are the main reason. I wouldn't have bet on them winning the Rose Bowl last year, but that just shows how good they are at what they do and how the team is. And the stadium up there is just beautiful. That's one of my official trips."

 Notre Dame - Well, I have to consider them because James (Bonelli) is going there, but besides, they have a great academic institution there. A degree from Notre Dame is good all over the country. Obvoiusly the tradition is there. And they always seem to have excellent offensive linemen all the time."

 Besides Washington, Lorenzo plans on officially visiting Tennessee, Florida State and Notre Dame. He still is leaving one visit open.

Why has he decided against officially visiting USC and UCLA? "The main reason I won't be taking visits to USC and UCLA is that I've already been to both schools a couple of times, and really, I've never been outside the state before," Lorenzo said. "I'm going on these other official visits to just see what else is out there."

 It's obvious Lorenzo has a true love for the game of football, but it hasn't consumed all of his summer. He's been having fun off the gridiron as well. "

Well, if I wasn't playing football this summer, I was probably at my cousin's beating them at the new gamebreaker college football game or hanging out with my girlfriend," Booker said.

When talking about his girlfriend, Lorenzo knows he's in a win-win situation wherever he goes, and a lot of the credit goes to her.

"Well, if I can stay close to home and still be around her and my family, than that's the way it's supposed to be," he said. "But sometimes she'll tell me, 'I think it's cool you're thinking about going to Florida,' and I'm pretty blown away by that. She's very supportive, and while it would be great to still be close to her I know that can't be a determining factor in my decision. I'd love to have her come with me wherever I go, but she'll probably be going to junior college right away instead."


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