On an Island: Andrew Booth says he can be even better, a scary thought for opponents


by - Senior Writer -
Booth is fashioning a stellar season.
Booth is fashioning a stellar season.

CLEMSON – Andrew Booth is putting the rest of the nation on notice. He’s been good this season, but he says he can be even better.

The junior highlight reel cornerback out of Dacula (GA) Archer has put together a stellar start to the 2021 season. Booth recorded five tackles (one for loss) and a pass breakup vs. No. 5 Georgia, sharing team defensive player of the week honors, in week one, and broke up a pass against SC State. He was credited with six tackles against Georgia Tech and added another six tackles at NC State. Against Boston College last week, Booth recorded nine tackles (one for loss), sharing team defensive player of the game honors.

Just wait until he reaches his potential.

“I don't feel like I've even reached my potential yet. There are so many things that I can get better at,” Booth told TigerNet earlier this week. “I know in my coverage I can stay lower and anticipate what's going. Situationally, I know I can be better. It's a beautiful thing, too, because I know from watching the film, I'll get better. It's going to be scary.”

Booth looks like he’s having fun again, reminiscent of his days at Archer.

“Absolutely. The game has definitely slowed down,” Booth said. “I've been finding a whole lot of joy in it all. Getting scored on and things like that, still finding joy in the game. Not being afraid to lose a rep, being out there free and full of joy. I definitely feel like the high school Andrew Booth is back.

“There were times I was playing not to lose, rather than playing to win so I definitely feel the difference now. It's such a free feeling out there. It's a great feeling. (When playing not to lose) you're in your own head and things that wouldn't usually happen -- it happens. You go to not trusting your athleticism and your abilities. It's never a good thing.”

What has made his game better? Film study and the confidence that comes from knowing where you’re supposed to be.

“It's really recognition, splits and film. Coach V (defensive coordinator Brent Venables), he makes sure we really pay attention to the little things so we can make plays like that. When it all comes to fruition, you feel like the man and that's how I was feeling,” Booth said. “And confidence. My confidence went up. Film. Getting used to the game. The game got slower and just reps. Just trusting what Coach V has going on. The guy is like a scientist and he works so hard. It's like he makes my job easier and I hope I make his easier.

“I didn't totally lose my confidence. It's just gaining more and more. Reps, more film study, becoming a smarter football player brought that to be.”

Venables says that Booth is one of the best tackling cornerbacks in the nation, a notion that was proved against the Eagles when he left his man and made a diving tackle of a running back catching the ball out of the backfield.

“Yes, my dad is always talking about know your angles and stay low and go get them,” Booth said. “That's what I've been doing my whole life. I always pride myself on tackling. It started when I was five years old. That’s crazy (what Venables said). He doesn't give out too many compliments like that. I don't even know what to say because I almost don't believe he said it.”

As a result, Venables doesn’t hesitate to leave Booth out on an island in man-to-man coverage.

“It's mano y mano. It's literally an island,” he said. “I love being on the island, especially because Coach V, there are certain plays that he helps you and then you know, 'Okay, I'm on this island. You have to lock in.' It's really just that - locking in and being confident.”

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