Earlier today, the Buckeyes added the ninth member of their 2014 recruiting class, and third linebacker, Dante Booker.
Booker was a huge signing for the Buckeyes, as he is rated as the second best player in their recruiting class by Rivals.com, behind fellow linebacker Kyle Berger out of St. Ignatius.
Booker comes to the Buckeyes from St. Vincent St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. The school is most well known as the alma-mater of basketball superstar LeBron James.
Receiving offers from some of the best football programs in the midwest including Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Penn State, Booker was a very highly sought after recruit.
Rivals.com lists Booker as the 10th ranked linebacker in the class of 2014, and the 108th ranked player in the nation. 247 has Booker as the 84th best player in the class of 2014, the 4th best outside linebacker in the class of 2014, and the number two player in the state of Ohio. ESPN has him as the 8th best linebacker and the third best player in the state. The consensus is that Dante Booker is a dominant linebacker.
At 6-3, and 215 pounds, Booker is a physical specimen. With such a big frame, Booker exhibits an uncanny ability to run, posting a 4.7 official 40 yard dash.
What Dante brings to the Buckeyes is depth, and a ton of it. Already boasting one of the best linebackers in the nation, Ryan Shazier, and one of the best linebacker recruiting classes in the nation with Kyle Berger and Sam Hubbard, Booker adds another stud to that already impressive list of Buckeye LBs.
While the linebacker position certainly hasn’t been one of weakness for the Buckeyes, Ohio State certainly isn’t dominant. Joshua Perry and Curtis Grant will play well for the Buckeyes, but they will certainly not stand in the way of the newest set of linebacking recruits.
Specifically, in terms of Booker, what you have is another Shazier. First of all, they have a little bit of resemblance in terms of body type. Booker is a little thin right now, but will eventually bulk up to the size of Shazier. Their biggest resemblance, however, is the incredible athleticism that they both possess. Not only is Booker a tremendous player in terms of the inside and outside running attack, but is a great coverage linebacker as well. While they may never get to play together, as it’s presumed that Shazier will enter the NFL Draft after this season, Booker will fill the role that Shazier left behind.
Overall, this was a huge signing for the Buckeyes. With two big time linebackers already on the board, Ohio State is looking towards another phenomenal recruiting class in 2014. In fact, it may be so linebacker oriented that some LBs may not make the impact that they normally would have.
Surely be on the lookout for Dante Booker, however, because he will surely be hyped as one of the premier players in the 2014 class.
Dante Booker’s Junior Highlights:
Dante Booker’s MaxPreps Highlights:
Dante Booker’s Sophomore Highlights: