Elite Recruit Tyler Booker Set for Ambitious June Ahead of Decision

Coveted offensive lineman taking all five official visits in the coming weeks
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The college football world is back open. 

As of Tuesday, programs and prospects could actually spend time with one another, on college campuses, for the first time since the pandemic shut down in-person recruiting last March. Thousands of high school football players have already taken advantage with initial trips and more plan on doing so through the open window. 

But few will rack up the air miles like Tyler Booker

The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy offensive line prospect plans on taking all five official visits over the next four weeks before getting back to his native New Haven, Connecticut home to evaluate the handful of options. 

A commitment between the finalists, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Ohio State and Oregon, is to come "some time in July."

Florida gets the first shot at impressing the 6'5", 320-pound Booker and his family. It's an order somewhat by design given a growing relationship with Dan Mullen and a longtime fandom the versatile offensive lineman has had of the program since Tim Tebow was making plays in the SEC and beyond. 

"It's the closest thing I had to a dream school," Booker told SI All-American. "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 Tebow-mania was going on."

The Gainesville trip will begin Thursday evening and run into the weekend. The rising-senior will then head back to New Haven before competing at the Under Armour Future 50 camp the following weekend. The official visits will then continue in short order, with Oregon (beginning June 14), Georgia (June 18), Ohio State (June 21) and Alabama (June 25) set to round out the month. 

While touring each campus, sporting famous jerseys and getting face time with coaches and administrators will be novel given the class of 2022's unusual recruiting circumstances, Booker is more focused on what being on the college campuses will create internally. 

"It's not so much what I want to see, it's what I want to feel," he said. "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 gonna 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."

Many of Booker's trips are one after the other, with minimal down time in between trips to rest or evaluate what took place on said campus. However, having collected scholarship offers since he was a freshman at Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic High School and working towards taking trips across America, he expects the energy to remain heightened despite the ambitious schedule. 

"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."

Taking multiple family members -- including his parents -- on each of the five official visits, there will be ongoing evaluation as the month of June presses on. 

Then comes a verbal commitment, effectively ending the four-year recruiting process for one of America's top offensive line prospects.

"It's a bitter-sweet moment," he said. "It's bitter in the sense that I'm gonna 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 to go on and win a national championship with 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."

Booker is committed to playing in the 2022 Under Armour All-America Game in January.

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