Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cardinal Corner: Cortlan Booker

Today is a big day for OTP and we have great news for Cardinal faithful! OverThePylon is happy to announce that we've been able to track down several former players who are more than willing to chat a bit about what they've been up to and this year's Cardinal football team. Today's guest? Defensive End from 2004-2007, Cortlan Booker. (Who incidentally was a beast on NCAA07 on XBOX.)

Cardinal Corner: Cortlan Booker

Anyone who has followed the Cardinals over the last several years will remember the name Cortlan Booker. Booker, a defensive end for the Cards from 2004-2007, Booker was a stalwart on the D-line, a second-team All MAC selection in 06, and a team captain in 07. Booker was not only a team leader on the stat sheet, racking up sacks and TFLs, but an emotional leader as well. Booker has a unique perspective on Cardinal football, as he was there not only for the 2-9 2004 season, Coach Hoke's second, but also for last season's International Bowl berth.

OverThePylon: Many fans of the program remember you as a fearless player, passionate Cardinal, and great advocate for the football program and university. Can you tell us a little about what you're up to these days?
Cortlan Booker: First I want to say thanks for having me on the blog I love to talk sports and I love Ball State. I sincerely enjoyed my time as a representative of the university. Being a graduate, an all conference player and a team captain are some of my proudest moments. I graduated this past May and keep myself busy doing these three things: 1) Looking for a job, its hard out here 2) Rehabbing the peck I tore last season during the Illinois game and finally 3) Being a volunteer coach for the West Lafayette Red Devils, we are ranked number 2 in 3a football and our quarterback (Matt Lancaster) is a major D-1 prospect.

OTP: As an alum and former letter winner, how does it feel to see the Cardinals getting so much love from the press and doing so well on the field?
CB: How does it feel? It feels right … extra right. I’m living in Purdue country right now ( excepting job offers) and believe me we are finally getting the respect we so richly deserve . I just hope the bandwagoneers get to shake hands with the true's who helped Ball State get where they are when things weren’t running as smoothly.

OTP: Let's talk for a minute about Dante Love. What advice would you give the team about moving forward and getting over such a devastating injury to a teammate? How do you keep your focus during times like this?
CB: I want to start by saying Dante Love is that guy, trying to replace his talent in a lifetime is laughable. Those minutes in the first quarter of the IU game are one of thousands of true football tragedies. The good news about Dante is in this life he has a lot of great things coming to him, it’s in his nature, he is a kid who can’t lose. I remember a very specific time where he had my back and supported me when he truly did not have to. He has a lot of people on his side and his faith will carry him through. The team will be well served if they can channel his energy when cleat touches turf every week.

OTP: Chat a little about Brady Hoke. Is the team's success this year a one-year phenomenon or is he turning the corner in Muncie to continued success? More importantly, do you see Coach Hoke staying in Muncie for very long?
CB: Coach Brady Hoke is not a one-hit-wonder. The man has done the job of building up Ball State. The best part about coach Hoke is that he truly cares for his players. As a longtime football player I can tell you the effect that can have on a whole program when you know you are playing for someone who cares about what kind of man you leave the program as.

OTP: The defense has taken a bit of a beating this year, especially in comparison to such a potent offense. What are some things you've noticed about the defensive performance of these Cardinals?
CB: There are a lot of things that I like about this years defense. It can be better, but there are no glaring weaknesses and there isn’t a group that looks to be underperforming. The defense will play its best football as the season progresses. The true x-factors of our defensive season will be the health of our starters and continuing great play from (future all conference) Sean Baker, (future team captain) Rob Eddins and (Will have 8 or so sacks this season) Kenny Meeks.

Ed. Note: Big ups to Cortlan for being our first guest and providing his insight. And for the love of God, someone hire this man. If schmoes like Pam Ward can get a job in broadcasting, then CB definitely should be working for someone!

1 comment:

Northern Star said...

Wow! Good choice of interviewing Booker for your first football alunm. He bleeds cardinal red.
Thanks for providing a peek into the personalities of Coach Hoke and Dante. It is players like Booker that set the standard for leadership, hard work, and commitment. He is one of the reasons this year's team is doing so well; they are building off of the hard work of those, like Booker, ahead of them.