Thursday, January 11, 2001 Updated: January 12, 10:05 AM ET
NFL calling LSU's Booty
BATON ROUGE, La. -- For the second time, LSU's Josh Booty
decided it's time to turn pro.
Booty, the LSU starting quarterback for most of the past two
seasons, will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
Josh Booty is one of three quarterbacks to declare eligibility for the NFL.
"After the season was over I went home and kind of questioned
what I want to do," Booty said Thursday. "I felt like next year I
wanted to be in an NFL uniform and trying to make an NFL team. If I
came back here, there's a lot of things that could happen. I felt
like this was the best time for me to go and I felt like I'm
leaving LSU in good hands."
Booty, 25, the Parade's 1993 high school player of the at
Evangel Academy in Shreveport, set national prep records by passing
for 11,700 and 126 touchdowns. LSU fans were crushed when Booty
opted for pro baseball after high school. He spent five years with
the Florida Marlins, never making it to the majors and finally
buying his way out to return to LSU.
He started eight games for the Tigers' in 1999 when LSU finished
3-8. Booty led the nation in interceptions per attempt with 19 in
333 attempts. This season, under new coach Nick Saban, Booty
improved but still struggled.
In LSU's Peach Bowl win over Georgia Tech, Booty was sacked
three times and fumbled twice while completing 8-of-19 passes for
110 yards in the first half. LSU trailed 14-3, and Booty was
replaced Rohan Davey in the second half.
"I think maybe, after the last two games I had to sit back and
really say maybe it's best for me that I go," Booty said. "I
think Rohan played good, so I think LSU's in good hands."
Booty, 6-foot-3, 218 pounds, will leave for Newport Beach,
Calif., on Monday to begin working with a group of specialists that
include nutritionists, strength coaches and quarterback coaches.
The group, assembled by Leigh Steinberg, Booty's new agent, will
try to boost the quarterback's performance in the scouting combines
"He's said he thinks we can move up in the draft and land in a
good position," Booty said. "Now where it is, whether it's a
fourth-round, fifth-round, first-round, second-round, third-round,
you don't know, but I'm going to try to get drafted as high as