Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
The Hoosier Huddle Countdown has hit #31! That’s right, only 31 days until the Hoosiers kick off the 2015 season against the Southern Illinois Salukis. #31 is worn by a senior wide receiver that made a pair of surprise starts in 2014 and saw his hard work pay off with a scholarship for the 2015 spring semester. That man is Missouri native Andre Booker.
- -Height: 5’11”
- -Weight: 185 pounds
- -Hometown: Chesterfield, MO./Parkway Central High School
- -Year/Position: Senior/WR
Andre Booker was an established track star at Parkway Central High School in Missouri before breaking through on the football field. Booker earned four track letters including all-state honors as a member of his school’s 4X200 relay. The speedster decided to utilize his quickness on the football field and played on the varsity squad in his junior and senior years. He balanced school (as a four-year honor roll student), track and football with success as he caught 18 passes for 320 yards and earned an all-conference selection. His team captured a conference and district championship before he chose to come to IU as a walk-on for the 2012 season.
Booker worked hard on the scout team and earned two scout team player of the week honors (Iowa and Ball State) during his freshman season. His good work on the scout team earned him playing time as he appeared in the final four games of the season on special teams. His sophomore season saw him earn another scout team player of the week (Penn State) and playing time against Indiana State and Bowling Green. Disappointing play from a young crop of wide receivers and the continued hard work from Booker earned the speedster his first career starts as he appeared in all 12 games during 2014 and started twice. The game against Rutgers will be remembered for the historic performance from Tevin Coleman in an IU defeat but it also featured the first career reception for Andre Booker. During the 2014 season, Booker had one catch, returned one punt and had two tackles.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Andre Booker is his ability in the classroom. He has been awarded with back-to-back Academic All-Big Ten selections and is expected to graduate with a degree in business management. The 2015 season should see Booker continuing to contribute on special teams and there is a possibility that he’ll be given a chance to return punts on a regular basis. This idea seemed far-fetched a few days ago but we now know that J-Shun Harris will miss the season and Laray Smith has transferred to Delaware State. It’s unlikely he’ll start many (if any) games at WR but IU is looking for more production from both the return and the coverage units and Booker could be a part of bringing improvement to those units.
The countdown is now more than 2/3s complete! We chug along to #30 tomorrow but make sure to continue checking back often for all of our terrific preseason coverage.
The Hoosier Huddle countdown continues tomorrow with a double-dip of #33. Come back daily to read (and comment on) all of our preseason coverage. We’ll continue to provide you with game previews, throwback recaps, recruiting coverage and our Top 5 opposition pieces.