Program history, Redding connection has 2022 IMG 4-star DT Booker interested in UM

Program history, Redding connection has 2022 IMG 4-star DT Booker interested in UM

Stefan Adams
2022 IMG Academy (FL) 4-star DT Tyler Booker received an offer from the Miami Hurricanes back in late January when outside linebackers coach Jon Patke visited the rising junior at his school.

“I was just really excited. It really means a lot to have an offer from the U just because of what they did back in the day and that culture,” Booker said. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of that football culture they represented back in the day and I’ve always wanted to be a part of bringing a culture like that back.”

The 6-4 290 pound prospect says that the tradition and legacy that comes with being a Hurricane is what has him most interested in the program, and Booker is well-versed in the history at UM.

“I used to watch all their 30-for-30’s,” Booker said. “The 'Catholics vs. Convicts' one where they went over the whole rivalry of them playing Notre Dame is one of my favorite documentaries. When I would get home from school, I would go straight to ESPN and watch it. The way they carried themselves, their confidence and the way they played – I admired that, the whole ‘U’ mentality. I most definitely want to take a visit.”

Patke does a lot of Miami’s recruiting at IMG and let Booker know he had a scholarship to UM after seeing him play DT at a practice. While Miami likes him on defense, Booker has played both OL and DL for the Ascenders and colleges are recruiting him at both spots.

“[Patke] just told me a lot about the program, about the program’s history, and how they’re trying to get it back to the way it was,” Booker said. “He said I would be a great addition to the team.”

Booker also has a connection to the current Miami program in freshman WR Michael Redding, who is a former teammate of Booker’s at IMG.

“Mike is my guy, we were close,” Booker said of Redding. “He was a big deal on the football team - I admired him, I took a lot from him in terms of being a leader. I’ve spoken to him a few times lately and he likes it a lot at Miami. He has a very positive outlook because he injured his hand, but he was still taking all the reps (in spring practice), he just wouldn’t catch. That’s just the type of guy Mike is. He’ll sometimes try to recruit me, but not a lot.”

Booker first played at Bergen Catholic High in New Jersey as a freshman before transferring to IMG ahead of his sophomore season in 2019. All three of Miami, Florida, and Florida State have now offered him, and he thinks he’ll be making multiple trips to the in-state schools now that he lives in the Sunshine State.

“I wouldn’t say it gives any Florida school an advantage, but I think it would be easier to go visit them quickly,” Booker said. “I’m really open to playing anywhere, I’m just focused on going to a school where I can develop best as an athlete, but more importantly as a man.

“I’m really going to take my time, I’m not going to make an early decision on a school. I want to make sure that school is the best fit for me and my family because they will be the ones to help me make my decision. I would say I’m pretty early in my recruitment right now, I haven’t narrowed anything down or anything like that. I’ll definitely make a top 10 when the time comes.”

The IMG star has quickly become a known national recruit in recruiting circles, and Booker has also earned offers from Alabama, USC, and Oregon in the past month in addition to being named the #13 overall player in the country in the 2022 class by 247Sports recently.

“I don’t pay much attention to [rankings], but it just happens and then you have to look after being tagged in all this stuff on Twitter,” Booker said. “At the end of the day – I don’t want to say stars don’t matter, but they have nothing to do with how I play on the field. Basically what I’m trying to say is, 5-star, 4-star, you’re going to have to perform, you’re going to have to prove why you were ranked that high or why you should be ranked higher.”

After transferring to IMG before the 2019 season, Booker was originally slated to primarily play defensive line for the Ascenders, but a last-minute switch to the OL ended up having benefits for Booker’s recruitment when he was able to show off his all-around athleticism.

“I don’t like to boost my head up, but I feel like I did great taking into account all the circumstances,” Booker said of his sophomore year. “Going into the season, I was going to play defensive line, but due to a lot of injuries on the offensive line, I had to get pushed over three weeks before the first game of the year, so I had to learn a whole new system, a whole new scheme. That was kind of hard, but I want to say after the second game, I became very comfortable with the position and the plays, found my groove, and that’s when my recruitment started to pick up.”

Heading into 2020, Booker says he’ll be playing more D-Line this year after charting only three tackles last season, but that he doesn’t have a preference on a position at the next level.

“More schools want me on O-Line, but I’m actually playing defensive line this year because I don’t have a lot of tape on the defensive line and a lot of top schools still want me on the defensive line,” Booker said. “I really don’t have a preference because versatility is a very big asset in these colleges’ eyes. I also want to play as early as possible. I’m a physical and nasty player.”


Comments (14)

Off the top I'm thinking, Jersey kid, hmmm, Mich or Ohio St. it goes with our team, we win some games, hit that elusive double digit win total mark, we'll have a shot.
I wouldn't call it a true "prep school." it's an athletic "academy"

BIG difference.
Yeah, I meant to say it's structured in that way although it's focus is athletics first and foremost.
Maybe having more recruiting-minded coaches like Likens, Justice and Stroud join guys like Banda will pressure Patke to up his game? At the very least, Stroud probably takes over some of the recruiting relationship now that the kid is in the pipeline.

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