Prospect watch: Mt. Lebanon's Alex Bookser
By Kevin Gorman
Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
6-foot-6, 295 pounds, OL-DL, Mt. Lebanon
Alex Bookser paid attention to the media following his Twitter account, so he decided to play an April Fool's joke on reporters. The Mt. Lebanon junior lineman announced he was committing to Pitt, then watched as word spread like wildfire. Bookser's timing could be considered cruel, given that reporters were working on stories about tailback Rushel Shell's decision to transfer from Pitt.
“It was a joke, not to the Pitt fan base but more toward the media,” Bookser said. “When I sent the tweet, it wasn't with the intention to add to (the Shell saga). I wasn't trying to add insult to injury.”
Bookser's recruitment, however, is no joke.
He has developed into a national recruit, with scholarship offers ranging from Pitt, Rutgers and West Virginia to Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee. Mt. Lebanon coach Mike Melnyk wasted no time warning Bookser to beware of his newfound fame.
“I tried to use that as a learning tool,” Melnyk said. “You're not just a high school kid goofing off anymore. People are watching you. I think he was just trying to be cute on April Fool's Day. I think that was a good learning lesson for him, as far as social media and understanding that he's in a fishbowl now.”
An honor roll student who started both ways for the Blue Devils, Bookser is being recruited to play offensive tackle and defensive end. He combines a high-speed motor with stamina on defense but believes he will end up on offense because of his size.
“He plays really low for a big guy, plays well with his hands and runs sideline to sideline,” Melnyk said. “Coaches were impressed that in the fourth quarter he was still running guys down.”
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