One of the standouts for the South team Tuesday afternoon was Florida State tailback Lorenzo Booker, who displayed some shiftiness and speed on a slew of open-field runs during the afternoon practice. Booker’s efforts Tuesday after an often-flummoxing college career might have been surprising to some, but not to college teammate Buster Davis.
“The thing about it is, he was never given the opportunity to be that feature guy,” Davis said. “But you saw when he was that feature guy in that UCLA game (the Emerald Bowl). What happened?”
What happened was stunning to many observers, as Booker — who had season totals of 552 and 525 yards in his junior and senior years, respectively — rampaged through the Bruins for 208 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
“He looked like the best running back in the country and that’s what he is,” Davis said. “When he comes out for pro ball he’s going to be one of the best that comes out of this draft. He has that mindset. He wants to be the best. You saw that in the UCLA game. He’s going to be very special.
“As long as he gets that opportunity he’s always going to be a special player.”
Davis’ ebullient praise of his teammate aside, all here in Mobile are on the prowl to find the magic that will make them special. A few harnessed that during Wednesday’s practice:
DL Antonio Johnson, Mississippi State: During lineman drills, he faced off against Auburn’s Tim Duckworth and started inauspiciously, jumping before the snap. After he repositioned himself, he promptly schooled his former SEC rival, veering inside with a spin move that knocked Duckworth off balance and sent him flying away. The two lined up again seconds later, and Johnson got his right arm up to move past Duckworth, who responded by pushing him to the ground just after he’d worked his way around the outside.
LB Patrick Willis, Mississippi: Intercepted one pass and returned another that Miami safety Brandon Meriweather had procured; the former Hurricane pitched an alert Willis the football for a long return during seven-on-seven work.
WR Dwayne Bowe, LSU: Had the catch of the day with a leaping grab of a high toss near the sideline, Bowe got just enough of his fingers on the football in mid-air to tip it to himself as he landed with his right knee inbounds.
LB Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma: Seemed to be ubiquitous in nine-on-seven work from his outside linebacker slot, finding his way to the ballcarrier even when multiple offensive linemen blocked his path.
Good night from a chilly Mobile. Talk to you Wednesday.