|Thursday, April 17
After Booty's father booted, junior QB jumped for USC
SHREVEPORT, La. -- Heavily recruited quarterback John David Booty will finish high school early and enroll in the University of Southern California next fall.
Booty, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound two-time all-state player from Evangel Christian Academy, made the decision five days after the school fired his father, John Booty, as quarterbacks coach.
School officials refused to say why John Booty was fired. He had recently begun a Bible-study group and ministerial Web site, actions he said put him at odds with the school chancellor.
His son needs only one English credit to complete his graduation requirements, and he intends to take that class over the summer. He then plans to skip his senior year, go to Los Angeles in July and start classes at USC in August; the Trojans open their season Aug. 30 at Auburn.
"I'm not putting any pressure on myself to be some superstar or be an All-American next year,'' Booty told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm looking forward to being part of that team and being with those coaches and hanging out with those players and going to class. I can't wait to get there and get in the rhythm of things.''
Booty, 18, made a commitment to USC last month. At the time, he planned to play his senior season, graduate a semester early and enroll at USC next spring. Trojans fullback Brandon Hancock and punter Tom Malone both did that last year and played as freshmen.
John David Booty said his family had joked in the past about his leaving high school early. His father's dismissal, and the prospect of playing his last season without him on the sideline, made him consider the option seriously.
"Once this thing occurred, I started to go, 'Well, maybe it is time for me to move on. Maybe I am ready,''' Booty said.
Booty has passed for 8,286 yards and 87 touchdowns in his last two seasons.
He's the brother of Josh Booty, who played in the Florida Marlins' organization before going to LSU to play quarterback; he's now with the Cleveland Browns. Their father John was all-state for Woodlawn High in Shreveport, the same school that produced future NFL quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Joe Ferguson.
Athletes are eligible to compete at NCAA colleges and universities if they complete required high school core glasses, graduate, achieve a qualifying score on the SAT and are certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse.