Having run for a ridiculous number of yards as a junior last season we were expecting Booker to rattle off a huge number of schools that were recruiting him. Once again to our surprise the list was relatively small. "Right now it's mainly Gardner-Webb, SC State, and I'm getting a lot of letters from Clemson, South Carolina, and LSU." Booker in fact took a visit to Gardner-Webb this past Saturday after helping Blue Ridge survive a 21-17 thriller against J.L. Mann on Friday night. Booker and the Tigers won with 14 seconds left in the game. Out of those programs J.J. says SC State is recruiting him the hardest. He is also still awaiting his first scholarship offer.
He talked about their toughest game to date this season against the Patriots. "It was a tough game. They came out on defense fired up and luckily our defense stepped up this week. I was proud of those guys, they really don't get the recognition they deserve. Our offense wasn't clicking like it normally does. We were lucky to battle back and get the win."
We talked more and we asked him to recall what he felt was his most outstanding game of his career. Booker quickly responded, "My best game ever was in the playoffs last year against Blythewood. Everything was clicking for me that night and I had a great game. I had 350 yards and 3 touchdowns on 29 carries." Blythewood as many of you know went on to win the AAA state championship last year.
With so many defenses basing their scheme to key on Booker he's still managed to have a great deal of success this season. Through 6 games Booker has 92 carries for 717 yards and 15 touchdowns. While he may not be on pace currently to break his mark of last season Booker's goal is to help power the Tigers deeper into the playoffs and hopefully culminating in a AAA state championship.
While his recruitment hasn't obviously taken off like it should we expect that to change relatively soon. Booker at 5'10 200 pounds posesses many of the tools colleges are looking for and has produced at a high level during his career. With solid 4.6 speed and the ability to break the big play at any moment Booker should be given a closer look by colleges.
Booker says that playing time is a big factor for him currently and that a good location would be a plus for him as well in his recruitment. He also plans to think long and hard about his decision so expect one to come closer to Signing Day.
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A Closer Look At...J.J. Booker
Favorite music artist: Lil' Wayne
Favorite movie: Friday Night Lights
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite subject in school: World History
Favorite football player: Reggie Bush
Favorite video game: NCAA 2008
Favorite thing to do when not playing football: Sleeping
Dream school: Florida, I like the atmosphere down there and it seems like a really exciting place to play.
Inside The Numbers...J.J. Booker
Bench Press: 315 pounds
Squat: 450 pounds
40 time: 4.6 seconds
Vertical leap: 35 inches