Illinois athlete commits to Indiana

Titus Booker, a 5-foot-11, 172-pound running back/cornerback from Grayslake Community North High School in Illinois, announced his commitment to Indiana on his Twitter account on Thursday. He also had offers from Buffalo, Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Western Michigan. More to come.

UPDATE:

Titus Booker isn’t sure what position he wants to play in college yet. Indiana apparently isn’t sure where it wants to put him, and his high school coach isn’t sure where the Hoosiers should put him.

But that, of course, is the beauty of next-level speed. They have options, and coaches on both sides of the ball are going to battle to get Booker in their position rooms.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Booker, listed as an “athlete” by the recruiting sites, verbally committed to Indiana on Thursday. The rising senior at Grayslake North High School in Illinois picked the Hoosiers over offers from Wisconsin, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Western Michigan. He becomes the Hoosiers 10th commitment for the Class of 2015. 

“I feel like I will be a good fit for Indiana,” Booker said via text message. “I feel like I can be plugged in a lot of places to do the things they’re trying to do. The thing that made it best for my family is that they’re truly a close, family-like program.”

Indeed, Booker, can be plugged in at a number of places, because he has been clocked at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash and is also one of the top sprinters in the state of Illinois. He finished second in the 100 meters in the Illinois Class 3A state championships in May, running in 10.6 seconds. He ran the 200 meters in 21.5 seconds in the preliminaries and 21.8 in the final, finishing fifth in that event.

That speed made him an astoundingly potent ball carrier at Grayslake North. Though he missed close to half of the season with a high ankle sprain, he still rushed for over 1,300 yards in about 5 1/2 games and scored a total of 14 touchdowns according to Grayslake North coach Steve Wood. He was also used at times as a slot receiver and split end and caught about 10 passes.

“He’s extremely explosive with or without the ball,” Wood said. “He’s probably the fastest kid I’ve ever coached. … We’ve really kind of used him between the tackles. Even though he has a lot of speed, we haven’t run a ton of outside zone even though he’s super fast. He’s got great vision. One crease and he’s gone, and he’s got a lot of toughness. He’s not afraid to run the ball up the middle. A lot of guys with that kind of speed like to stay to the outside. It’s not often you find a combination like that.”

Booker also has the frame, however, to play on the opposite side of the ball. Though he’s only 6 feet tall, he has very long arms and many teams want to use him as a defensive back, specifically a cornerback. Wood said Booker didn’t play any defense last season because of his injury, but they have been working him out on defense in the offseason.

“He’s got tremendous recovery speed,” Wood said. “We’ve spent a lot of time this summer working on his defensive skills. And he’s looked really good. I mean really good. I’m super excited for what he’s going to bring to our team, and I imagine a lot of the schools recruiting him feel the same way. He’s got a lot of upside.”

 

11 comments

  1. well, what is it dustin. is he 5’11”, 172lbs. or 6′, 180 lbs? if we were not sure how tall he is you noted a third time he is 6′. guess your mind is already on vacation.

    editor

  2. Hey coachv, did you ever think that maybe Booker grew 1 inch and gained 8 pounds from the time Dustin posted the original post to the time he posted the update? Why do you have to be so negative to DD?

  3. A testament to our strength and conditioning program that he could develop like that just by verbally committing to IU.

  4. Based on what I’ve read, this kid can pick ’em up and put ’em down. At 6′ 180# he could grow into a S or RB. He’s already WR/CB size. Wherever he lines up he’ll be fast. Speed is one ability you can’t teach, but it’s certainly necessary. Welcome aboard young Mr. Booker. What a fitting surname for a fast guy. Go Hoosiers!

  5. Damn, Nile Sykes, recently released from his NLI from the Irish has committed to IU. A high 3* recruit from Illinois was rated the 20th best ILB/34 best OLB in the 2014 national ranking class. IU initially recruited him hard till his ND commitment. This coaching staff makes things happen

  6. They sure do! I think I’m more excited for football then basketball, which is weird. Just so much momentum right now.

  7. We’re now seeing more than just a trickle of high quality, D-I football players committing to IU. The future is looking very bright.

  8. Ben-

    It’s not weird. Much like being completely inept at inbounding a basketball against a mediocre Big 10 team, it’s a gift from Tom Crean. We are as blessed a Catholci boy walk-on from Bedford that gets to pray next to the oily preacher in the Bloomington hills. We now have a “prestigious” football program. We might even beat the prestigious Jo Pa Boys Town School(aka “New and Improved” PSU) football team and go to a Cheetos Bowl. Speaking of cheese, we might even only lose to Wisconsin by 60 points this year instead of 80.
    And to think there was once a lowly day at IU when we used to weirdly march up to Madison and weirdly spank their weirdly homely basketball teams in their own house by 60 points….? Crazy weird! Embrace it with Podunker. Send Doug Mallory a weird Christmas card and thank you. My, oh my, have times changed for the better…

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