Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star offensive tackle Tyler Booker is about to embark on an ambitious month of June that will include official visits to all five of his finalists.
The 6-foot-5 and 325-pound Booker – who is considered the fifth-best offensive tackle and No. 40 prospect overall in the class of 2022 – will travel to Florida on June 4-6, Oregon on June 14-16, Georgia on June 18-20, Ohio State on June 21-23 and Alabama on June 25-27 before he makes his college decision sometime next month.
“It's not so much what I want to see, it's what I want to feel,” Booker told SI All-American when asked what he’s looking forward to on each visit. “I want to feel like I'm at home. I want to feel that love, because I feel like whatever energy is being poured into me, I'm going to give it right back. I want the same thing.
“Whenever I get to a school, I want them to give it back to me. I'm looking for that family feel, to go somewhere where I feel like a priority.”
Booker is certainly a priority for the Buckeyes given the need for offensive linemen in the current recruiting cycle, as the staff is looking to add three or four more versatile players at the position to complement four-star tackle pledge Tegra Tshabola. He’s been in contact with head coach Ryan Day, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and graduate assistant Kennedy Cook since they offered him a scholarship last October and is looking forward to making his first trip to Columbus.
"I've been dreaming of this since I knew what official visits were," Booker said. "Dreaming since I used to play the college football video games, inviting kids on official visits, that's how long I've been looking forward to this. To actually be going on them is a dream come true."
Booker is originally from New Haven, Conn., so proximity to home won’t play a role in his eventual decision. He did grow up rooting for the Gators, though.
"It's the closest thing I had to a dream school," Booker said. "My uncle (Ulish Booker) went to Michigan State, so it was between those two. But Michigan State wasn't good, so it was Florida. That's when Tim Tebow-mania was going on."
Booker will be joined on his official visits by multiple family members, including his parents, and will return to New Haven at the end of the month to evaluate his options. He’ll then announce his decision and focus on his senior season, which he hopes ends with the Ascenders winning another national championship.
"It's a bittersweet moment," he said. "It's bitter in the sense that I'm going to miss having the ability to reach out to these coaches and pull from them as much as I can as far as technique goes and life lessons.
"The sweet part is to shut it down, lock in with one school and – though I'm late to it – get to recruiting for that school. And I'll be able to focus in on my IMG team with my brothers and go on to finish another national championship run."
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