Dante Booker Jr. Named Mr. Football

By Kyle Rowland on December 4, 2013 at 7:06p
Mr. Football: Dante Booker Jr.

Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary linebacker Dante Booker Jr. was named the 27th winner of the Mr. Football award, given annually by the Associated Press to the best player in the state.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior had 87.5 tackles during the regular season, including 18 tackles for loss. But he doesn't just play on defense for the Irish. Booker is also a tight end for Division III's top-ranked school. SVSM is 14-0 and plays for the state championship Thursday night. 

"His abilities are just amazing: his wingspan, his reach, his vertical," head coach Dan Boarman said. "He went out for basketball for the first time last year and played on a state finals team. And you know the basketball here is pretty good."

Heading into the championship game against Trotwood-Madison, in 14 games Booker has 122 total tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, two interceptions (one for a touchdown), has forced two fumbles and recovered two (one for a touchdown), and has batted down four passes.

When he plays tight end, look out.

"He comes in in our big package," Boarman said. "What he does is, he just collapses one side of the line."

There is talk that Booker might end up being a down lineman at Ohio State because he's still growing. But that's for a later discussion.

"I think I bring versatility to linebacker," he said. "Just tracking the ball down, getting where I need to go and getting to the ball. I have good football defensive instincts."

Off the field or on, he's a quiet, reserved kid who stays out of trouble, gets average grades, and is a fine example to younger students.

"You couldn't ask for a better kid. He's real quiet, low key," Boarman said. "He doesn't talk a whole heck of a lot, but when he speaks it does mean something."


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Basso Profondo's picture

Congrats Mr. Booker, cannot wait to see you in the scarlet and gray!

TilstheHun3's picture

A plethora of TFLs? Looks like we have a Little RDS, Mini RDS, or RDS Jr. coming to Columbus... Looks like he has a nice streak going too, a true Buckeye.

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

Gray Box's picture

Glad he's a Buckeye!

otrain2416's picture

Representing the 330 Love it congrats Mr Booker!

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Jordan Wagner's picture

You can watch Parris Campbell and Dante Booker live on STO tomorrow at 7PM. Going up Trotwood Madison, who is full of future D1 prospects. '16 QB Messiah DeWeaver is definitely a guy to watch. 

MotownBuck's picture

I'll be in Chicago ... would love to watch from there. Chance to see Alma Mater and some future Bucks. Can't miss that.
... but what is this "STO" you speak of?

Trotwood-Madison. Once a Ram, Always a Ram.

Jordan Wagner's picture

STO is Sports Time Ohio. It's only in Ohio. I'm sure there will be an online stream, but I do not have a link at this time. 

MotownBuck's picture

What? THANKS SABAN! HERBSTREITMAY! In state cable broadcasting rights.
Would love to see these young Bucks go at it. If anyone has a link please feel free to post! Last year there was only a radio broadcast online for out of staters.
Thanks Jordan

Trotwood-Madison. Once a Ram, Always a Ram.

WhySoSerious's picture

Ok. Hear me out before the down voters shower me with there down votes. Why only 18 comments total for a kid who received Mr. Ohio honors and who is a OSU commit? How many votes did D Webb get from you guys on here? I guess it's because he's from Michigan. Show a little more support ladies and gents.  


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

Haybucks's picture

No DV, but is this post showing support for Mr. Booker? I might have missed it, but I didn't read a congratulatory message. BTW, Congrats to Donte for being named Mr. Football and hats off to becoming an Ohio State Buckeye!

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


cinserious's picture

Congrats to Dante, an Ohio guy with Ohio pride who makes (and will continue to make) Ohio proud! I feel he redshirts to see if he grows into a down lineman, and let him get comfortable with either level, also to let Marrotti mold him into the man he is sure to become. Year two he will break out at either spot and claim at least a two deep position.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Buckabroad's picture

Fantastic achievement Dante. It shows how hard work and determination really do pay off. Congratulations! Can't wait to see you in our D!

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

The start of many awards.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BuckeyeStrong1993's picture

Wow 6'4. That's a tall linebacker. Congrats Booker cant wait to see you in scarlet and grey.Go Bucks


2morrow's picture

Awesome - we really need him at linebacker!

rkylet83's picture

I have a feeling this kid is going to be a difference maker immediately.  No hesitation in his game.  

bergy22's picture

Definitely stocking up at some big bodies at the linebacker position Grant, Perry, Mitchell, Hubbard, and Booker. 
Looking forward to some great linebacker play in the future

AkronBuckeye13's picture

I played for coach Boarman before he went to STVM, great coach.