Dominique Booth's career at Indiana will always be looked on by Hoosier coaches, fans, and likely Booth himself as what could've been.
Indiana announced today that Booth would be taking a medical hardship waiver, allowing him to remain on scholarship but effectively ending his football career at the school and finish his degree. Booth followed up with a statement himself this afternoon, clarifying the rather unique situation -- Indiana's doctors didn't clear him to compete, but others have. Thus, he'll seek a transfer after graduating next spring to continue he career -- where he'll have as many as three years remaining to compete.
"Hoosier Nation thanks for welcoming me with open arms. I had a great ride here at IU and I'm hurt that it had to end so soon. It was an honor to start as a freshman and wear that Cream and Crimson. I would like to thank Coach Johnson and the offensive staff for pushing me everyday to become the player and man I am today. It is fact that I have accepted a medical at IU, because their medical staff did not clear me to participate any longer. My career is not over, I have elected to transfer and play elsewhere, because every other doctor I have seen has cleared me to continue my career.
I have also decided that it would be best for me to stay at IU, graduate from IU in the spring of 2017, then transfer so I will be able to play right away. I will have two concrete years to play and a third if granted by the NCAA. I believe this plan is not only best for my education but for my options and eligibility in the college football world. In the mean time I will be training with IU's strength and conditioning staff and will help coach the recievers with Coach Johns to stay around football and broaden my football knowledge.
I have my eye on a few schools but I'm open to pretty much anyone at this moment. I have talked to schools from every Power 5 conference and some MAC and some AAC schools.
This was not a matter of ability. This is the business of college football and I'm looking forward to helping IU have a great 2016 season then continuing my own pursuit of greatness.
When he came to Bloomington out of Pike High School in Indianapolis in 2014, Booth was one of Indiana's most hyped recruits ever -- a talented outside 4-star receiver that had decommitted from Tennessee to attend his home state school. In Kevin Wilson's pass-happy offense, it seemed like a slam dunk for Booth to eventually become a top Big Ten receiver that could garner national attention and fill the big shoes left by Cody Latimer's departure to the NFL. And all seemed fine enough to start -- he made 6 starts hauling in 8 catches on 20 targets for 70 yards in a crowded wideout depth chart in 2014.
Then, the injury -- or injuries -- or some other condition -- happened.
Booth never played a snap in the 2015 season where he would've been Indiana's top returning reciever after J-Shun Harris' spring ACL injury. But things were kept vague. Wilson called the injury "not major" in September, and then mentioned that Booth had hand surgery in October. It's unknown if that's the same injury that's led to today's announcement.
It was reported today by 247Sports that Booth will likely visit Mississippi State as one of the schools he'll consider as a grad transfer after the season. His release from Indiana was granted with no restrictions