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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
National offers for OL/DL Bookser

By Jared Shanker

PITTSBURGH -- At the beginning, all of the local usual suspects were on 2014 two-way lineman Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mt. Lebanon). Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and West Virginia were among the first schools to offer.

But right before the contact period ended, new Florida State assistant coach Sal Sunseri came through Mount Lebanon and had good news for Bookser.

“It’s exciting I was getting national attention,” Bookser said. “Once [FSU] offered me I paid attention to their recruiting class and they offer some pretty good guys, so it’s cool to know they’re thinking about me.”

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Booker is a “horse of a man,” according to his coach, Mike Melnyk. He has long arms and a long frame and is solidly put together. As a defensive lineman, Melnyk said he has great athleticism and is a sideline-to-sideline player, which is rare for a nose tackle.

Sunseri and the Seminoles favor Bookser along the defensive line. It is also the side of the ball Bookser prefers.

“He doesn’t take plays off and plays well with his hands on defense,” Melnyk said.

Bookser started at left tackle his sophomore and junior seasons, but this past year was the first season Bookser started along the defensive line. That is where his biggest improvements came.

“My sophomore year I came in a couple times on defense and I’d just get blown off the ball,” he said. “This year I feel I was definitely a little bit stronger and I was up to the speed.”

Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State are among those interested in Bookser. He took visits to Michigan and Penn State during the season, and he could visit the Nittany Lions -- or several other programs that have invited him -- for a junior day Feb. 23.

Bookser was impressed with Michigan during his visit for the Iowa game in November.

“I really liked it,” Bookser said. “They packed it in and that was pretty cool.”