"I'm always trying to improve," he told BSB earlier this fall. "I look in the film room, evaluate all that. My coaches are teaching me what to do, and I just listen to them. I do whatever I can to keep getting better."
Those efforts paid off when he was named the first full-time defensive player since Andy Katzenmoyer in 1995 to win the honor that goes to the best prep player in the state by the Associated Press.
Heading into tonight's Ohio Division III championship game, Booker has 122 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss, eight sacks, two interceptions (one for a touchdown), two forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles (one for a touchdown), per the AP.
"He's a heck of a football player," STVM head coach Dan Boarman told BSB. "He's a leader on our defense."
Booker is just the third Mr. Football planning on attending Ohio State since the year 2000. Warren Harding running back Maurice Clarett won the honor in 2001 and Piqua RB Brandon Saine captured the award in 2006.
Truly humbled to be named Mr.Football and bring such an honor to STVM, I will have it known that I'm sharing this with my brothers.— Dante Booker Jr. (@D_Book47) December 5, 2013
Booker is rated the No. 5 outside linebacker in the nation and the No. 71 overall prospect in the nation. In Ohio, he is rated behind only Cleveland Glenville's Marshon Lattimore, Cleveland St. Ignatius' Kyle Berger and teammate Parris Campbell.
Unbeaten St. Vincent-St. Mary will attempt to defend its state title tonight vs. Trotwood-Madison. Stay tuned to BuckeyeSports.com for team coverage of the game.
Per the AP, other players considered included Toledo Central Catholic QB DeShone Kizer, Mentor QB Conner Krizancic, Clarksville Clinton-Massie RB Bayle Wolf, New Philadelphia RB Jamal Johnson, Covington RB A.J. Ouellette, Athens QB Joe Burrow and Westerville Central QB Jared Drake.