Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo formed a special trio last season and helped keep the Stanford offense functioning when Andrew Luck lacked wide receiver help on the outside. But they have a long way to catch up to the man, the myth, the legend of Cory Booker
For those of you swept up in the headlines of the Newark mayor heroics, you probably forgot the first time Booker was a national hero. Let's take you back to 1990.
Here was Booker's stat line in his senior season: 13 catches, 162 yards, 1 touchdown. Not super-amazing, but definitely effective, considering the Cardinal really liked to air the football out to the outside to their receivers, particularly to future all-Pro wideout Ed McCaffrey. Jim Harbaugh would've liked his moxie. Stanford only went 16-26-2 during his time as a Cardinal player (although he did earn All Pac-10 academic honors), so it wasn't the greatest stretch in Cardinal football history.
Still, he saved his catches for a noble cause: Being a huge underdog with a 1-3 record, and then going into South Bend to beat #1 Notre Dame.
You could say this is mostly Kyle Williams's (err, Ricky Watters's) fault, and there aren't any actual Booker highlights in this reel, but Booker did have four of his 13 catches on the season against the Irish, including a 25 yard romper down the left sideline that set up a Tommy Vardell touchdown rush to cut the lead to 24-15. Here's more about that catch (The USA Today got the research wrong as usual--it wasn't a catch on the game-winning drive--but here are the pertinent details).
Booker, a tight end, caught a 25-yard pass over the middle. Notre Dame All-America cornerback Todd Lyght fell for the only move Booker owns. "I throw my butt left, and I run right because I can’t go left. I had a clear path … I was closing in on the end zone … " Only to be tackled out of bounds.
1990 Notre Dame vs. Stanford (via tjnd88)
You might also say that Booker was a witness to the second greatest Big Game finish ever (he's #81 in these highlights).
Revenge of the Play: The final 17 seconds of the 1990 Big Game (via ClearNPromisingSat)
Beating a #1 Notre Dame team, turning Newark around, and saving a woman from a burning fire. Cory Booker is the American Dream personified.
More on Booker
"Pitching a big tent is nothing new for Cory Booker. You might even say it's been his life's work. At Stanford, that meant playing varsity football by day and working as a peer counselor at The Bridge by night. As a Rhodes scholar, Booker convinced his high-achieving Oxford classmates to become mentors to low-income children. He's an African-American Baptist whose best friend is an outspoken Orthodox rabbi; an upper-middle-class, Yale-trained lawyer who chooses to live on one of the worst streets in Newark. With a résumé like that (a black lawyer who speaks Yiddish!), it's not surprising that people are already talking about Booker becoming mayor or governor, or something bigger. "I could show you my seventh-grade yearbook. Literally people were telling me I'd be president of the United States someday," says Booker -- quickly adding, "I always laugh.""
"Before they came after me in 2002," he says, "they offered me every job imaginable. McGreevey" -- that'd be disgraced former New Jersey governor and self-described "gay American" Jim McGreevey, a Sharpe James ally -- "offered me Secretary of State, Secretary of Commerce, or Secretary of Labor. They said, 'The county bosses will give you the line for the Essex County Executive -- you'll be the first black county executive' -- all that kind of stuff."
His voice goes from matter-of-fact to plummy with passion in a heartbeat.
"These people don't understand what this is about. This is not about a position -- it's about a mission, and a city that should be so much further along than it is."
Booker keeps up an awe-inspiring Twitter feed. He fields—and acts upon—complaints about broken streetlights and fire hydrants. He quotes philosophy and Scripture. He reminds Newarkians how to report landlords who don't turn on the heat. When Jersey Shore "star" Snooki tweeted "Ugh stuck in Nwk traffic is no fun," he replied, "Snooki! I'm the mayor where R U so I can give u a ticket 4 texting & driving we needs revenue!" He's also got the city—and followers from around the world—joining his weight-loss efforts via the #letsmove hashtag."