When Christian Booker first arrived at De La Salle, Cavaliers football coach Ryan Manale knew he had a chance to be a good one.
Booker was a tall, skinny kid at the time.
“And he was a pretty good playground player from what we heard,” recalled Manale. “We were fortunate to get him, and over the last few years, he really developed his skills.”
Those skills led the 6-foot-4, 195-pound receiver to get several college scholarships.
He chose Nicholls State on Monday, verbally committing to the school in Thibodaux.
He said his other three finalists were Louisiana-Monroe, Tulane and Utah.
It was his relationship with first-year Nicholls coach Tim Rebowe that sealed the deal for Booker. Rebowe recruited Booker during his time at Louisiana-Lafayette as well.
“Basically coach Rebowe has been recruiting me hard since the beginning,” Booker said. “I felt like home when I was there. I just really liked their coaching staff.”
Booker can make his commitment official Feb. 3, National Signing Day.
“I committed early to focus more on the season and on school,” he said. “I didn’t want the recruiting process to interfere with that.”
The recruiting interest likely won’t stop though.
“Some bigger schools like Georgia Tech, Cincinnati and Utah were all coming in hard on him,” Manale said. “He had over 30 offers, 33 at one point, in the spring.”
But he chose the Colonels, becoming the third local player to commit to Nicholls State in the past eight days. He joins Rummel quarterback Chase Fourcade and St. Charles offensive lineman Tyrin Arceneuax.
“I’ve talked to Chase, and I feel like we can go in there and compete early,” said Booker.
Booker said his goal this season is to help De La Salle win a state championship. He plays primarily wide receiver but also will line up at safety in certain defensive packages.
He caught 24 passes for 514 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.
“He has size that you can’t teach,” Manale said. “He has a great work ethic and very reliable hands. He is an accountable kid. The sky is the limit for him because he has never really had a true offseason for football because he is a multi-sport athlete.”
Booker also plays basketball and is on the track team at De La Salle.
But as he is quick to point out, football is his favorite of the three sports.
“By far,” he emphasized.