I can't remember the last time a local recruit got this much attention. Daylon McCutcheon? Justin Fargas? Sure, those guys were great HS football players as both were ranked at the very top of their respective positions, but neither could claim that they were considered to be #1 football player in the nation. Lorenzo Booker can claim that. Maybe it's the way he can juke a would-be tackler out of his jockstrap, perhaps it's his gregarious personality, but one thing is for sure: Mr. Booker is a wanted man. In fact, I think he might be the most popular high-schooler in America today. It seems that everywhere you look, someone is talking about the phenom from Ventura. Every college coach in America wants him and I'm not so sure that some NFL coaches wouldn't take him given the opportunity. Unfortunately, only one coach can claim this prize, and as of late, Bobby Bowden looked to be that coach. After several reports of Lo gushing about his trip to FSU, many college football fans all but wrote him off to be a Seminole. But is Mr. Booker really a done deal to Tallahassee? Is there any hope for the Trojan faithful? Here's what Lorenzo told me tonight:
M: So Lorenzo, what schools are still on your list?
L: USC, UCLA..well, you see, I took UCLA off because they lost, but then my mom was told me it was kinda quick to take UCLA off since I liked them a little bit before so I had to add em back on. Then UW, ND, Tex and FSU.
M: Any leaders?
L: No because I haven't been to all those schools yet, so I don't have any base for comparison.
M: I understand you had an in-house with USC, but it was cancelled?
L: Yeah, my mom couldn't make so it was cancelled, but I'm gonna see them this Monday.
M: What do you expect out of the visit on Mon?
L: Well, there's really nothing that USC can tell me that will make me like them even more because I've been there so many times and talked to the coaches so many times. The main thing is for my family.
M: I read that you had a concern about USC not running the ball enough. Is that true?
L: Not really, that's not my opinion. There's a lot of people that say that coach Chow likes to pass the ball. But for me, I think it's kinda like my situation when I first got to Saint Bonnie. They never really ran the ball until they got someone who could do it. USC hasn't had a running back who could really take over the game since Marcus. Saint Bonaventure was a passing school when I got there. The way I see it is if you have someone who can get the job done, you're gonna run it, and that's why I like coach Chow so much because he did it with Ronnie. BYU was a straight up passing school when Ronnie got there and he ran for 700 plus yards as a freshman and he had 1500 yards after he came back from that whole suspension. So I'm not too worried about that. I mean, I like catching the ball out of the backfield anyway.
M: Speaking of Marcus, did you catch him at the SC game?
L: Actually, yeah, I did see him and I was pretty pumped up. I didn't get to talk to him because I couldn't get down to the sidelines because it was so packed. I figured I'd see him in the locker room, but I didn't get to see him but that's fine because I was so pumped up about he way SC played. I thought they played flawless, and the score could have been more out-of-hand than what it was. I mean they called back that punt return, so I really didn't care too much. It was fine for me just to see him and I think that's a great thing for him to come back to the games.
M: So I take it you enjoyed the SC game?
L Oh, I loved it! I was pretty impressed. It's the way you finish, not the way you start, and they finished a hellava lot better than UCLA did. They only lost to UW and Ore. by a couple of points, so I really see greatness at USC. I think that's why I felt like I had to take UCLA off my list because I didn't get that feeling with them.
M: So would you say that USC and FSU are the two teams to beat?
L: Well, I'm really starting to like UW. So as far as a top three right now, I would say FSU, USC and UW.
M: I understand that your mom has a problem with flying?
L: Yeah, Oh yeah (laughing).
M: So if you do pick FSU, what's going to happen?
L: Well, my cousin Curtis has a satellite dish, so we'll probably have to get her one of those.
M: You don't think she could get over her problem?
L: Not at first, she would wait til I was doing really well and then she would have to really get over her fears. But if I really, really wanted her to come out, she would.
M: Stats on the year?
L: 2,650 yards and 45 touchdowns.
M: USC is recruiting FB Brandon Hancock and he may announce his decision in the next few days, are you familiar with him?
L: Oh yeah, and the fact that he's a FB makes it even better.
M: Have you met him?
L: Actually I haven't, But If I go to SC, as long as he's on my team, I don't need to know him, he doesn't have to be my friend, as long as he takes care of business on the field, we're all good (laughing).
M: So a fullback commitment is important in your eyes?
L: In a way, but even more important is the lineman!
M: OK, so commitments from some top OL would affect your decision?
L: Oh Yeah.
M: The last question is one I asked you the last time we talked, but since my recorder ran out of juice, I couldn't quote you, so I'm going to ask you again. Will the availability of your jersey # early affect your decision? I ask because I know that #1 is a highly desirable jersey #. Watching FSU the other day, I realized Cro Thorpe wore #1 and at UW, Reggie Williams wears #1 (both freshman), so is that an issue?
L: It kinda is, the only way it would be huge issue is if two schools were perfectly equal. Then, I would go to the one with my jersey, so it's a pretty big deal to me, but like I said, if there was some veteran guy who wanted it, there's no way I could go in and take it, because he's been there longer, and he's put in his time and I haven't. I mean, if they're saying look, Lorenzo, you can get #1, it's guaranteed to you, then yeah, that's impressive. I mean, I'm comfortable in that #, it's kinda my identitly, and since I would be so close to home if I went to USC, people would know it was me. So it definitely plays a part, but I wouldn't say it carries a lot of weight.
M: So have the USC coaches promised you #1?
L: Well, kinda. They're like "you know what? Franks graduating, so it's waiting for you."