With two more years of high school football remaining, Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 2022 defensive lineman Tyler Booker already has an impressive list of college offers and recently picked up an offer from Michigan State, which he called “A dream come true” on Twitter.
Spartan Nation recently caught up with Booker, the nephew of the great former Michigan State offensive lineman Ulish Booker, to discuss his offer from the Spartans, and the standout defensive lineman said that it’s a big offer for him.
“Honestly, it means a lot because ever since I was young and I learned the concept of football, the first team I was drawn to Michigan State because my uncle went there and all I saw growing up was Michigan State stuff at my grandmother’s house and my uncle’s house the whole time,” he said. “So I had no other choice than to be a Spartan fan.”
While it’s still early in the recruiting process for Booker, he already holds 11 offers, including offers from LSU, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Miami (FL) and Texas A&M.
Since he started high school football, Booker has emerged as one of the top recruits in the country and said that while he grew up a Michigan State fan, he has since stepped back from being a fan and is focusing on which school and the program he thinks he will fit best in when it comes time to make a decision.
“I would say I stopped being a fan once I got to high school because my whole mindset of college football kind of changed once I got to high school,” he said. “I wasn’t a fan anymore, I was a prospect and I could potentially go to these schools, so I started looking at it as I could potentially be going here, do I fit in the system? Would I fit at this college? Things like that.”
After Michigan State tabbed Mel Tucker to be the program’s next head coach following the abrupt retirement of Mark Dantonio, Booker said that his uncle was able to put him in touch with the new Spartan coaching staff, including wide receivers coach Courtney Hawkins and Tucker.
Booker, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound standout capable of playing both offensive and defensive line, told Spartan Nation that he spoke with Tucker for about 20 minutes and discussed what position Michigan State is recruiting him to play and Tucker said that would be a decision that he would leave to Booker, based on what he prefers to play.
“I asked him what position he saw me in and I told him all of the colleges are looking at me on the offensive line and I asked him what he wanted,” he said. “He told me, wherever my passion is and I said my passion is on the defensive line. It just felt good to talk to him.”
Booker said that he “most definitely” wants to take a visit to Michigan State and that his last time on campus was for a youth camp when he was eight years old.
After receiving the offer from Michigan State, Booker said it was one that both he, his uncle and his family were obviously excited about and added that after feeling that Michigan State wouldn’t be a good fit for him under the previous coaching staff, the possibility of playing for Michigan State is a realistic one for him now that Tucker and his new staff are in place.
“My uncle, he always wanted me to be a Spartan, but he just really couldn’t push for it these past couple of years because of the state of the football program,” he said. “With what coach Tucker has there and what he’s done with recruiting, he now feels more comfortable with me going to MSU. He knew it was unrealistic for me to go there for the last couple of years and I couldn’t see myself going there. But now that coach Tucker is there, he feels more comfortable, he can see me there. It’s a realistic option now and now he’s pushing for me to go there.”
With plenty of college options already on the table already, Booker called the recruiting process a dream come true and noted that he’s in no rush to make a decision and intends on waiting until his senior year.
“The whole process is really a dream come true to me,” he said. “Me and my dad, we used to dream about this. We used to come up with lists of colleges that I could see myself going to and these were all hypotheticals when I was in the seventh and eighth grade and now those lists and those dreams are becoming a reality. I’m still taking time with my decision, I’m not going to make a decision any time soon. I’m going to wait until my senior year and I’m going to go over all of my options.”
An athletic, physical lineman, Booker described his style of play as both fearless and aggressive.
“I play fearless and I’m aggressive,” he said. “I play with a purpose, I think that’s the best way to say it. I play like I want to play, I play with purpose.”
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