East Feliciana lineman Tra’Vontae Booker commits to Cajuns _lowres

Advocate file photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- East Feliciana's Tra'Vontae Booker lifts Christopher Chaney in the air to celebrate Chaney's touchdown during their homecoming game Oct. 3 in Clinton.

With the heavy lifting from his first camp experience in June out of the way, East Feliciana’s Tra’Vontae Booker returned to UL-Lafayette’s final camp last weekend in a different capacity.

Booker took a tour of the school’s campus and facilities and later met up with Ragin Cajuns fifth-year head coach Mark Hudspeth, who had a question for the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder.

“He asked me if I wanted to be a Ragin’ Cajun,” Booker said. “I told him I wanted to be one. He asked me if I was serious and I said yes. He said they wanted to offer a scholarship, and I told him I wanted to commit. They were happy and welcomed me to the family and to the team.”

Booker, a projected defensive tackle, was sold on his future home after first gaining interest in UL-Lafayette during a Junior Day visit several months ago.

“I didn’t know much about them,” Booker said. “I saw how much of a family the team was and saw how good the relationships were between the players and coaches. I saw how nice the facilities were and how nice they were going to be. They showed me a highlight tape and I thought I really could play there.”

Booker has been a pillar on East Feliciana’s offensive line, starting for three years where he earned first team All-District 6-2A honors. He was a part of the Tigers’ district championship team that advanced to the Class 2A state regionals.

Booker has also played defensive tackle, even gaining a couple of starts along the way.

“With his big body, he’s going warrant a double-team,” East Feliciana football coach Cedric Anderson said. “He’s relentless to the ball and gives great effort. I’m looking for some big things from him this year.”

Anderson estimated 20 to 22 schools being on campus in Jackson during the spring evaluation period to watch Booker, who earned scholarship offers from Nicholls State, Grambling and Alcorn State and garnered interest from Mississippi State and Louisiana Tech.

Booker became the 10th public commitment in UL-Lafayette’s current recruiting class and second along the defensive front, joining defensive end Jahaziel Lee of Ponchatoula.

Although he arrived late for UL-Lafayette’s camp last month, Booker was right on time with his workout with the defensive tackles during the 1-on-1 portion of last month’s camp. He said Cajuns defensive line coach Levorn Harbin went as far as to invite him back to last weekend’s final camp.

“I felt like I was getting off the ball quick and I was good with my hands,” Booker said. “I was hustling, hopping around trying to get the offer. I think it was that extra effort I put into it that put me over the top. I was really hoping they would offer.”