2022 offensive tackle Tyler Booker completed his fifth and final official visit over the weekend to Alabama, a place he grew up coming to Nick Saban camps as a kid, and now he has the opportunity to suit up for the Crimson Tide.
"It was just pretty much a dream come true," Booker told Sports Illustrated All-American. "Going to the Nick Saban camp when I was younger and now being there, seeing the look on the kids' faces while on the visit here, really drove me to be in this position. It just shows that hard work pays off."
The IMG Academy standout could join 2021 signee JC Latham and become the second straight blue-chip offensive-line recruit from the football factory in Bradenton, Fla. to make a home in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama junior offensive tackle Evan Neal, who is projected to go in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, is another IMG product.
"You go there [Alabama] to be great," Booker added. "I feel like that with everybody in every facet of the program, you're driven to be great. On the field, off the field, in the weight room, in the training room if you get hurt. The school is set up to be great, everybody has bought into that mindset and culture."
Now that the world of college football recruiting has entered yet another dead period, Booker is taking time to reflect on all five schools he visited during the hectic month of June including Alabama, Florida, Oregon, Georgia and Ohio State.
“I'm really relieved and proud because not a lot of people from where I'm from get these opportunities to be presented on a national stage and I am,” Booker said. “I'm really blessed to be able to have gone to those schools and most of all, just enjoy these schools to the maximum. It also shows me that I have to work harder because all the visits, photo shoots, everything, doesn't mean anything if I go to a school and don't have a positive effect on the school and myself.”
A decision could come as soon as early July but no date is set in stone for Booker and his family just yet. All five schools remain in consideration for the 6-foot-5, 325-pound lineman, however, certain criteria will stand out among others.
"Where I can be the most successful?” Booker said. “And honestly, where I'm the most comfortable. I think about what a coach told me, to make a decision on a neutral site. So now that I'm back home, I actually have time to go through the visits, think about the campuses, things I didn't like and what I would have liked to see. When it comes down to it, that's what matters the most. All the schools in my top five are set to win a national championship while I would be there. All have great facilities and will be able to develop me into a first round talent.
“My mindset, anything that is going to make one school pull away from the other, is how at home I felt at the school and how I'll develop as a person. I'm going to develop as a first round talent wherever I go.”