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Booth expected to play almost every down for Buffalo this season


By Nick Brockman

Putnam Review

File photo
Buffalo’s Stephen Booth, who is seen here carrying the ball against Fayetteville last season, rarely missed a down for the Bison as a receiver/running back on offense, cornerback on defense, as a punter and maybe even as a kicker.

Stephen Booth rarely misses a down for the Buffalo football team, and in playing many roles, he leaves a significant mark on the field.

Booth, a senior, contributes offensively, defensively and with special teams to make a large impact for Buffalo, no matter its position on the gridiron.

“Stephen’s kind of a do-everything kind of guy,” Bison coach Brian Batman said. “He’s a receiver, he’ll probably even run the ball. He’s a cornerback. He’s very valuable on defense. He punts. He may kick. He’s kind of a jack-of- all-trades kid.

“He’s very athletic. He kind of fits that kind of football player that Buffalo seems to always have a lot of, just that athletic kid that can really do a lot of things and will do whatever you ask him to do. He

probably won’t come off the field a whole lot.”

On a small squad like Buffalo’s, Booth said he’s happy to contribute any way he can and proud of his accomplishments.

“Where we’re Class A and all that, play both sides of the ball and special teams, I don’t really limit myself to any position really,” Booth said. “I don’t mind to play anywhere. Anywhere (coach Batman) wants to put me is really where I would like to play. It doesn’t bother me any.”

While some athletes prefer the limelight of offense, Booth said, given his pick, he likes the defensive side of the ball.

“Me, personally, I would probably stick with defense,” he said. “Getting the ball and all that is nice, but I want to hit people and I like being there to stop people on the goal line. I think that’s where it really is.”

Booth’s time as a cornerback also prepares him while lining up at wide receiver, he said.

“It definitely helps to basically play against yourself,” he said, “to know the steps they’re going to take to cut you off and to be in the right hole really helps.”

Meanwhile, Batman said it would be a hard decision to slot Booth in a single position, and he’s glad to use him in varying aspects.

“It’s very valuable when a kid can provide you all that,” Batman said. “If I had to choose one between receiver, corner and punter – because I would throw punter in there. He’s a pretty good punter. He’s got really good hang time on his kicks.

“Probably, value for us right now is going to be at receiver simply because of all the yardage and touchdowns that we’ve lost from last year. He can provide some good stability for us on offense.”

Despite his many positions, Booth said he feels ready to accept the responsibilities of his roles and make the most of his senior campaign.

“I feel like I’ve prepared pretty well for this over the last four years,” he said. “I knew I would be a senior leader this year, so I had plenty of time to prepare for it. I just hope that when the time comes to lead the way in the game that I’ll do my best.”


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