Notre Dame will have one of their top targets at defensive end on campus this weekend when 4-star defensive end Thomas Booker makes the trip from Baltimore to South Bend. Booker attends the Gilman School – the same school that sent Ambrose Wooden and Victor Abiamiri to Notre Dame 14 years ago. Could they send another Notre Dame’s way?
Booker will arrive on campus on Friday and the academic side of his visit will be a very important component of his trip. Academics are right at the top of Booker’s criteria in selecting a school. Just how important are academics to Thomas Booker? So important that part of his visit this will include sitting in on classes according to a free article from Irish Sports Daily.
“I’m going to be attending some classes while I’m there to kind of get a feel for the academics,” he said. “I’ll be sitting in some smaller classes, some discussion-based classes to really see what it feels like to be interacting with Notre Dame students and Notre Dame professors on a day-to-day basis.”
Obviously the academic angle is huge for Notre Dame here but they are not the only prestigious academic program in the mix. Stanford is recruiting Booker but has not yet offered. Stanford, however, is usually slow with offers because of their admissions as we know all to painfully well with the late offer to Paulson Adebo last year.
Aside from the Cardinal, Notre Dame is battling the likes of Clemson, LSU, Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan, and Ohio State – all of whom have offered Booker at this point.
Booker is built very much in the mold of Victor Abiamiri. He’s tall and well built at 6’4″, 250 lbs already leading some services to list him as a SDE, but he is being recruited by Notre Dame as DROP end (WDE). Watch his junior highlights at the end of this post and it’s easy to see why. Booker made several plays in coverage including a couple athletic interceptions. Booker also plays a little bit of tight end for Gilman – another testament to his athleticism. He’s got the skillset and size to be an early contributor in his collegiate career wherever he goes.
Abiamiri was built similarly and was a bigger pass rusher before being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2nd round of the 2007 NFL Draft. As a senior Abiamiri recorded 10.5 sacks for Notre Dame in 2006. Getting that kind of production out of a defensive end would be a welcomed addition to the Notre Dame defense.
Notre Dame Hosting Tight End Too
Thomas Booker won’t be the only tight end visiting Notre Dame this weekend though. Notre Dame is also hosting 3-star Florida native George Takacs. He comes to campus with offers from Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin already. Notre Dame has already offered and is expected to bring in another tight end this year even after signing Brock Wright and Cole Kmet in the class of 2017.
Ja’Mion Franklin Takes Notice
One of last weekend’s visitors – nose tackle Ja’Mion Franklin took notice to Booker visiting this weekend. Franklin is the recent recipient of a Notre Dame offer and Notre Dame is considered one of the favorites for his services at this time.
— #55GoLive (@Jamion_Franklin) March 29, 2017
Franklin and Booker were tweeting back and forth last weekend while Franklin was on his unofficial visit as well.
@TheThomasBooker should be up here w me dawg ??
— #55GoLive (@Jamion_Franklin) March 25, 2017
Notre Dame has two defensive linemen in this class already in the Ademilola twins – Justin and Jayson – who just picked up offers from Alabama this week (don’t freak out, reports are they are both still very solid with Notre Dame). Notre Dame is also in pretty good shape right now with Franklin. If they are able to make an early move here with Booker this weekend as well, defensive line recruiting could really take off this year.
Obviously still a long way to go and there is no indication that a great visit could get Booker to jump on board, but Notre Dame can set itself up very nicely here by knocking this visit out of the park.