In an exclusive video interview with SI All-American, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star offensive tackle Tyler Booker announced that he has committed to Alabama over finalists Florida, Georgia, Ohio State and Oregon.
The 6-foot-5 and 325-pound Booker, who is considered the fifth-best offensive tackle and No. 39 prospect overall in the class of 2022, took official visits with all five schools during an exhaustive month of June, including the Gators on June 4-6, Ducks on June 14-16, Bulldogs on June 18-20, Buckeyes on June 21-23 and Crimson Tide on June 25-27.
It was the final visit that was key in his recruitment, however, especially after Booker spent time with his former teammate and Alabama freshman offensive tackle J.C. Latham.
"You go there to be great,” Booker said of the Crimson Tide. “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."
Booker, who had grown close to Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and graduate assistant Kennedy Cook throughout the recruiting process, considered pushing his decision to the fall in order to attend games – including Oregon at Ohio State on Sept. 11 and Florida at Alabama on Sept. 18.
In the end, though, Booker and his parents already had their minds made up.
“It was my mom,” Booker said. “She has a decent knowledge of college football, like she can hold a conversation. To hear it from my mom was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ If she sees it, it has to be. Hearing it from mama feels different.”
The Buckeyes, meanwhile, hold a pair of commitments along the offensive line in West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West four-star tackle Tegra Tshabola and Englewood (Colo.) Cherry Creek four-star tackle George Fitzpatrick but hope add at least one more player in the trenches this cycle.
Booker was in the group of priority targets that also includes Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star guard Earnest Greene, Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian School four-star guard Addison Nichols and Humble (Texas) Atascocita four-star tackle Kam Dewberry that could have pushed it to two or three more, though.
You may also like:
Be sure to stay locked into BuckeyesNow all the time!