Posted: 5:43 p.m. Friday, July 19, 2013
By Brad Shepard
Dominique Booth was all set to announce his choice around a month ago -- a decision that was overwhelmingly in favor of the Tennessee Volunteers.
That was a decision that was ultimately publicly delayed for whatever reason. On Friday, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound receiver from Pike High School in Indianapolis finally let the recruiting world know of his intentions to play for the Volunteers.
Some reports say that Booth had been a silent commit for Butch Jones for around a month, and some believe that offer may not have been immediately committable but became that way over the course of the past few weeks. Whatever the case, he officially goes on the commitment list today -- giving UT 22 known commitments in a class where the Vols can sign 30. One of those commits is expected to grayshirt.
Booth chose UT over claimed offers from Alabama, Florida State, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Cal, Cincinnati, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Purdue, Rutgers, South Florida, Texas A&M;, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
You don't get an offer sheet like that without having some positive attributes and a big upside, but Booth is a polarizing prospect to some. Despite being a universally-ranked four-star prospect, there are some analysts out there who believe his speed and size may not be very conducive to the SEC. He's generously listed at his height, and he doesn't have game-breaking speed. But Booth is known as a confident pass-catcher who should be able to move the chains and be versatile enough to play multiple receiver positions.
Personally, I think he fits a bit better in the slot, because I don't think he's really 6-1. The Vols already have a bunch of commitments for slot receiver, but given the importance of that position in Butch Jones' offense and the dearth of play makers on UT's roster, it's not hard to understand why UT is going after multiple players there.
Booth's commitment also may mean worrisome things about in-state four-star receiver Josh Malone -- long thought to be Tennessee's top target. Malone is seemingly high on Georgia, Florida State and Vanderbilt and -- according to 247Sports' Barton Simmons -- could be close to eliminating UT altogether, though the Vols seem to think they remain a factor in his recruitment.
Even without Booth, UT has already secured a pretty impressive receiver list in this year's class. With the pledge of Booth on the heels of a commitment from JUCO WR Eric Lauderdale this week, that gives UT commitments from five players who can play the position. Though Neiko Creamer may wind up on defense, he's listed at receiver along with athlete Vic Wharton, JUCO WR Kameel Jackson, Lauderdale and Booth.
With this latest commitment, the Vols remain atop the Rivals and Scout rankings and in the top five in the other two. Booth is a highly regarded commitment on all sites. 247Sports believes he's a four-star prospect and the nation's 41st-ranked receiver. Rivals rates Booth as the nation's No. 34 receiver, the 239th-ranked player overall and a four-star. Scout thinks he's a four-star prospect and the 22nd-ranked receiver in the country, and ESPN has him as a four-star and the No. 23 player at his position.
Booth is the FOURTH commitment for the Vols this week, joining four-star JUCO WR Eric Lauderdale, four-star safety Cortez McDowell and three-star offensive lineman Ray Raulerson. "Foundation Week" is expected to produce even more commitments this weekend. At this rate, UT will be done with recruiting before the season starts. Then we can just sit back, relax and watch the evolution of getting back to being TENNESSEE again.
Welcome to Big Orange Country, Mr. Booth!