Dante Booker, OLB, Ohio State #52

6021, 240, 4.68

Notes: From Akron, OH. His father, Dante Sr., was a defensive lineman at Auburn, had a tryout with the Colts, played a couple seasons in the Canadian Football League, and another in the American Indoor Football Association. Was the 2013 Ohio Mr. Football and originally a five-star recruit for the Buckeyes. Played in 11 games as a reserve linebacker and special teams contributor, credited with 7 tackles, in 2014. Played in 13 games with 22 tackles and 1 TFL in 2015. Suffered a season-ending knee injury after recording 3 tackles in the 2016 season-opener and missed the rest of the season, and was granted a redshirt year. Spent a week in Equador in May 2017 as part of the athletic department’s involvement with the Soles4Souls program, a community service and goodwill effort dedicated to fighting poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing. He made 6 starts in 2017, posting 31 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 sacks and 1 INT, before missing the latter half of the season after a concussion and shoulder injury. Graduated in the spring of 2018 with his degree in sport industry. Was reportedly going to transfer to Cincinnati to play for former linebackers coach Luke Fickell, but the story (which drew the ire of head coach Urban Meyer) was retracted and he remained at Ohio State. He missed spring practice in 2018 after undergoing two significant shoulder surgeries. Switched jersey numbers from #33 to #52 in August 2018.

Positives: Good athlete with natural movement skills. Good feet and agility. Can read, avoid blockers, and step up and fill against the run. Very good range. Plays with explosiveness and pop at times and can take on and defeat blockers one-on-one. Good kick coverage on special teams.

Negatives: Indecisive and hesitates at times or will get caught peeking into the backfield on pass defense. Has frequently been plagued by injuries and has looked rusty at times on the field.

Summary: Legitimate talent who has struggled to stay on the field long enough reach his full potential to this point.

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