Heisman Trophy Candidate 2016: Devontae Booker

Devontae Booker is a bit “long in the tooth” by current college standards. This 5’11” two hundred three pound senior running back was born twenty-three years ago on March 27, 1992 in Sacramento, California. He has taken something of a long, winding road to get to where he is today which may explain why he is a year or two older than most of his peers.

Devontae Booker has been performing on a high level for the Utes

Devontae Booker has been performing on a high level for the Utes

Booker, who is athletically-gifted, attended Grand Union High School in Utah and, during his four years as a football player, was good, but not spectacular.

The young and developing player did not generate much interest from major universities and, as a result decided to enroll in a small school named American River College where he received an opportunity to play varsity football.

Booker did well playing for this small school football program. In 2012, his first year, the improving running back rushed for seven hundred ninety three yards and managed to work his way into the end zone twelve times. His numbers improved in 2013, his sophomore season. In that year, Davontae Booker rushed for one thousand four hundred seventy-two yards and scored fifteen touchdowns.

That production brought him attention from the University of Utah. The school offered this young performer a scholarship which he happily accepted.  Things went awry for him, however, when after transferring to the University of Utah late in 2013 he was declared ineligible for football because of “academic difficulties.”

It was immensely disappointing and frustrating for a player anxious to show his skills in a big-time college football environment. But, to his credit, Booker remained patient and awaited his chance to finally step on the gridiron.

That chance arrived with the start of the new 2014-2015 Season. Booker got lots of playing time and excelled, eventually being named to the All Pac-10 First Team. Now, in the new 2015-2016 Season, Booker is the starting running back for the powerful Utah Utes football squad.

He is averaging 120.8 yards per game rushing the football. He has in one-and-one-half seasons accumulated eleven one hundred yard games, often running for much more than one hundred yards in those games.

His average yards per game, if he continues to excel, will give him the all-time school record. And it certainly looks like it will continue.

This fast and strong running back is “putting up big numbers” on a weekly basis. He rushed for two hundred twenty-two yards against the University of California, one hundred fifty-six yards against Fresno State University and one hundred twenty yards against Utah State University.

And there are still seven games remaining on the schedule. If he continues to rush as well in future games as he has in the games already played, Davontae Booker may set school records that will last for many years to come.

Of course, if he continues to produce at a very high level, he will also stand a very real chance of becoming this year’s winner of the coveted Heisman Trophy.  It can happen for this special player who combines speed with power to help the Utes win more games than they lose.

image courtesy of youtube.com

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