Lorenzo Booker interview

"USC has coach Carroll, who coached in the NFL, and I just think he's a great coach. Coach Chow coached Ronney (Jenkins, who is Booker's cousin) at BYU. Personally, I think he's the best O-coordinator around."

jcjc brought out the big guns the other day by doing a marvelous piece on the super-elite Manuel Wright. Not to be outdone, I've gone straight to the top. I put in a phone call to the biggest of the big timers, that's right, Mr. Lorenzo Booker himself. But before we get into what he told me, let me just say the Lorenzo has to be one of the most down-to-earth kids that I've ever interviewed. You would think that being tabbed the #1 prep football player in the nation would cause your head to swell, but that isn't case with Mr. Booker. He was extremely open and friendly, and I now know why every school in the nation wants him so badly. Hell, even if he were a bench-warmer for St. Bonaventure, I'd want him to come to my school. He's just a great kid who truly is the "complete package". OK, now for the stuff that you've all been waiting for:

Q:So Lorenzo, could you give me a list of schools you're looking at?

A: I've got around nine that I'm looking at, in no particular order going off the top of my head, FSU, USC, UCLA, Mich, Tenn, Clemson, Fla, Notre Dame and Wash.

Q: Do you have a leader?

A: Nah, but to be honest FSU, USC and UCLA are probably my top three but anything can happen.

Q: So what do you like about USC?

A: Well, I know a lot of players over there, not only football players, but I know a couple basketball players too. It's only forty minutes from my house and I'm really exited about the new coaching staff. Before I wasn't really considering (USC) because I didn't really like Hackett and his staff, but now they've got coach Carroll, whose coached in the NFL, and I just think he's a great coach. And Coach Chow who coached Ronney(Jenkins, who is Booker's cousin) at BYU. Personally, I think he's the best O-coordinator around. So that definitely plays a big part, and the offense that they run is just like the one I play in now. So the coaching change and the people I know there are pretty much why I like SC.

Q: So how does Ronney feel about coach Chow? Did he like him as a coach?

A: Oh yeah. He definitely knows that Chow hooked him up, so that's why (Ronney) tells me to seriously consider SC, and I definitely told him that I am. He just knows that if I were to go to SC, Chow would hook me up and that I'd be in the right system.

Q: I understand that you're friends with Keary Colbert and Bobby Otani

A: Yeah, Jacob Rogers, Chad Pierson, all those guys.

Q: Could you describe your relationship with them?

A: I knew Chad and Jacob just from watching them play at Oxanard, which is where I went before St. Bonaventure HS, and Robert I got to play with my soph. and junior seasons, and Nick Curtis who's going there for basketball also went to Oxanard HS. So, I know most of them through sports.

Q: So would you say that you're pretty good friends with those guys?

A: Oh Yeah, most definitely. Every time they come up here they go to my passing league games and what not. We hang out.

Q: So are the people you that know going to be an important factor when picking a school?

A: Oh Yeah, I mean, I'm gonna get homesick wherever I go, but If I go to SC I will not get homesick. You know, I can come home whenever I want to.

Q: Are they recruiting you hard?

A: Yeah, I'd say that (USC) FSU and Notre Dame are recruiting me the hardest, but SC's definitely recruiting me hard. I mean, you know someone's recruiting you hard when they write your mother.

Q: Could you give me your current stats? Forty, Bench etc?

A: My Bench remains at 325 cuz I haven't really maxed in a while. My squat is 415. I ran my last forty on grass at the Nike camp, and I ran a 4.43, and I jumped 36.9 in a little combine we had up here.

Q: What would you say are your strengths, weaknesses?

A: Most definitely I'm best at cutting, making people miss, I'm a slashing type of runner, but I'll lower the shoulder if I have to. My philosophy is don't take a hit if you don't have to. Not that I'm scared at all but why would I go heads up with someone if I don't have to? I specialize in making people miss. Most of my touchdowns are runs where people don't even get a hand on me. But I want to become a more physical type of runner. Like I said, I'm not going to hit you if I don't have to but when I do, I want you to feel it, I want you to think, Damn, I don't want to hit him anymore. When it comes down to it, I want to be able to punish people, so I'm definitely working on my lower body strength.

Q: So would you like to get bigger?

A: Well, I don't think I've got to gain a lot of weight, I mean I'm 180 right now and that was my goal. According to my doctors, I'm ahead of schedule. I don't have a problem with gaining weight at all, but I don't want to lose speed doing it. A lot of guys get big, but they lose speed. Ronnie was successful at 180. I'm 180 now, and I've definitely gotten faster, so I'm ahead of schedule.

Q: Are you doing anything out of the norm this summer?

A: Not really, I'm eating a little more and watching film, you know working on the mental part of the game, but that's really the only thing I'm doing different this summer. But it is my last season and I don't want to have any regrets so I'm definitely getting after it.

Q: Could you possibly trip to USC?

A: I don't think I will, and it's important that they know that. I haven't told them yet but I know that they know that I'm interested. I definitely think I going to go ahead and call coach Chow to let him know that I'm not going to trip to USC because I've been there a lot of times. I've only left the state once, and that was to go to Nevada for like an hour, so tripping gives me that chance to see what's out there. But me not tripping to SC and UCLA doesn't mean anything.

Q: One last question, when do you think you'll be cutting your list down?

A: I'll probably have my top five by December, somewhere around there.

M: I think that's it. Gotta say Lorenzo, I'm surprised at how friendly and open you were, I know if I were the number one player in the nation my head would be huge. But doesn't seem to be the case with you.

L: (Laughing) Ah, I like SC. If you were someone I didn't like I would have answered all of the questions in the same way, but maybe I wouldn't have given as much information as I did, but I like SC.

M: Ever check out the internet?

L: All the time.

M: Well, I'll be posting this interview on wearesc.com, is it OK if we call you back sometime?

L: Most definitely. I'd love to keep you guys updated.

M: Thanks a lot Lorenzo.

L: Thank you.


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