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Kansas Defensive End Austin Booker Declares for the 2024 NFL Draft


By Michael Swain


LAWRENCE, Kan. ( – Kansas defensive end Austin Booker has officially declared for the 2024 NFL Draft, he announced via social media on Thursday morning. Booker is currently in Florida where he is beginning his preparations for the NFL Draft and pre-draft process.

Booker started several games for KU during the 2023 season and was an impactful player for the Jayhawks from his defensive end spot. He finished the season with 56 total tackles, the second most on the team. He also led KU with 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks, which both led KU. His 12 tackles for loss were twice as many as the next Jayhawk had. He was third in the Big 12 in sacks and sixth in tackles for loss.

“First, I want to thank who I do it for, The All Knowing, for all of the blessings and to the path that He has guided me on,” Booker wrote on social media. “I also want to thank Cooch Moore and the Center Grove Football staff for believing in me and preparing me to be great. Lastly, I want to thank Coach Panagos for the opportunity, Coach Leipold for believing in me, and everyone who supported me at The University of Kansas, it felt like family and I will be forever grateful for the platform to showcase my skills. With that being said I’m blessed to announce that I will be declaring for the 2024 NFL draft.”

After the season, Booker was featured in the Big 12 awards as voted on by the coaches. Booker was named the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year. He was the first Jayhawk to win that award since Isaiah Johnson in 2013. In addition to his newcomer award, Booker was also named First Team All Big 12, becoming the first Jayhawk defensive lineman to make the first team since Daniel Wise in 2018. He was also an honorable mention selection for Defensive Lineman of the Year, which means at least one coach voted for Booker to win the award.

Booker transferred to KU last offseason after he spent the previous two years at Minnesota.

The defensive end redshirted in his first season with the Minnesota program in 2021. As a redshirt freshman in 2022, Booker played in three games on defense against Colorado, Rutgers and Northwestern, totaling 23 snaps. He also played some on special teams during the 2022 season.

Booker was a three-star recruit in the 2021 class and was one of the more coveted defensive linemen in the Midwest. He picked Minnesota over 18 other Power 5 offers. The Indiana native was a top-10 player in the state in his class and was ranked inside the top-600 recruits in his class nationally, per the 247Sports Composite.