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Gilman defensive end Thomas Booker commits to Stanford

Gilman’s Thomas Booker, a four-star defensive end in the ESPN 300, has committed to play football for Stanford.

He announced his commitment on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, opting for the Cardinal over Notre Dame, Harvard, Princeton and Penn. In Palo Alto, Calif., Booker joins two former Greyhounds teammates -- sophomore running back Dorian Maddox and sophomore offensive tackle Devry Hamilton.

In his tweet, Booker thanked his coaches, teachers, friends and family as well as Gilman, where he has been a student since pre-first.

“It has been a privilege to be recruited by distinguished colleges and universities throughout the country. I have thought deeply about the opportunities afforded me. My family and I are proud and excited that next year, I plan to attend Stanford University!” he wrote.

Gilman coach Tim Holley said Booker’s combination of excellence on the field and in the classroom would make him a great fit for any top academic university.

“He’s the quintessential student-athlete and Stanford University is kind of the quintessential place for a student athlete,” Holley said. “He’s got a line, ‘Don’t sacrifice scholarship for a scholarship’ which is an interesting way to look at the world. Stanford isn’t the only place in the world that cherishes academics and athletics, but I think for him, it was the combination and the high-end academics, because he certainly is looking toward that challenge as much as he’s looking toward being a Division I football player. “

Booker has visited the Stanford campus and he took two classes there before his junior year. He earned A’s in both, economics and African-American science fiction literature.

“The kid is brilliant,” Holley has said.

Recently, Booker, a second-team All-Metro pick as a tight end last season, was part of the DreamFearlessly Fan Vote for a berth in the Under Armour All-America Football Game. One of the 32 players from across the country in the field, he narrowly missed advancing past the first round.

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