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FSU's Booker looking good for Fins (so far)


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Dolphins' Booker already breaking ankles and turning heads

By Hugo Guzman on June 12, 2007 12:11 AM

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Ricky who?


That seems to be general sentiment emanating from both the coaching staff and the small segment of the local fan base that attended the Miami Dolphins ' minicamp this weekend. Granted, the team isn't even wearing pads yet, but if early performance predicts future production, then rookie running back Lorenzo Booker is going to make everyone forget Ricky Williams in a hurry.


Booker will likely never be an every-down back, however. Although he is incredibly strong for his size, benching 225 pounds 26 times at the NFL combine, his 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame and the fact that he is playing behind a workhorse by the name of Ronnie Brown virtually assures that he will spend at least the early part of his career as a change-of-pace back.


That said, his ability to make defenders look silly, coupled with his uncanny speed, brings an entirely new dimension to Miami's backfield. Unlike some of his predecessors, guys like Travis Minor and John Avery, who possessed second-tier speed and elusiveness, Booker boasts the type of playmaking ability that already has the team and its fans buzzing.


On Friday, the first day of the Dolphins' latest minicamp, Booker -- a third-round pick in April's draft -- made a frighteningly sharp stutter-step move on a dumpoff pass that beat multiple defenders and drew cheers from his offensive teammates. The former Florida State star generated several more similarly impressive feats of maneuvering throughout the course of the weekend, garnering praise from fans, coaches and teammates.


Nobody should really be surprised by this, though, for while Booker's tenure with the Seminoles was considered to be a failure, it was only in light of his extremely optimistic outlook when he arrived in Tallahassee. Remember that it he was touted as the top running back of his recruiting class, not fellow Californian Reggie Bush.


Unfortunately for Booker, FSU's offense suffered through a precipitous drop in production while Bush flourished in the high-powered USC attack, of which he was an integral part.


Even still, many college analysts viewed Booker as the poor man's version of Bush, stuck in an inept offense, poorly utilized, but possessing just as much elusiveness and breakaway ability as his more famous counterpart. A quick YouTube search for "Lorenzo Booker" reveals a plethora of impressive runs eerily reminiscent of Bush's.


But unlike Bush, who was drafted second overall by the New Orleans Saints a year ago, Booker does not come in with the overly lofty expectations of a first-round selection. Ironically enough, though, this veritable draft afterthought may end up being one of the key catalysts in Miami's offensive rebirth.


Along with first-round pick Ted Ginn, Booker is expected to provide a much-needed infusion of speed and elusiveness -- something the Dolphins have been missing for quite some time.


And based on his early performance in minicamp, it appears that Booker is already up to the task.





very very early but the kid always had moves, hated him when played against Da U

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