In the end, Dominique Booth couldn't miss out a Cream 'n Crimson football opportunity.
The Indianapolis Pike wide receiver passed on Missouri just as he had passed on Tennessee earlier to commit to Indiana.
Booth's announcement on ESPN.com Tuesday night gave the Hoosiers their highest-rated recruit for the Class of 2014. ESPN.com rates the 6-foot, 205-pounder as the state's No. 2 player and the nation's No. 32 receiver overall. Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service, has Booth as the state's No. 4 player and the No. 46 receiver nationally.
Booth will enroll at IU for the spring semester. Classes are set to begin next week.
“I'm coming in trying to start,” he told ESPN.com. "That's my goal. I'll work hard to get there.”
Also, cornerback Derrick Tindal committed on Tuesday. He is a two-star player out of Florida who picked Indiana over Cincinnati, Central Florida, Marshall, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
This gives the Hoosiers 18 recruits for the Class of 2014. Coach Kevin Wilson expects to sign 25. The national signing period starts Feb. 5.
Landing Booth and Tindal jumped IU's class seven spots to No. 50 nationally (seventh in the Big Ten) by Rivals.com. Another national Internet recruiting service, 247 Sports.com, moved up Indiana 11 spots to No. 55, 10th in the Big Ten.
The class has two four-star players: Booth and offensive lineman Tim Gardner from New York.
Booth had originally committed to Tennessee, then decomitted in early December. Indiana and Missouri were his finalists.
Booth totaled 99 catches for 1,266 yards and 16 touchdowns in his last two years at Pike High School. Pike coach Derek Moyers has praised Booth's athleticism, speed, quickness and work ethic.
Booth played inside and outside receiver at Pike, attributes he said will help him to make an early impact.
ESPN.com's Big Ten recruiting analyst Tom VanHaaren said during Tuesday night's Spreecast announcement that Booth “fits very well at Indiana with its high-powered offense. I wouldn't be surprised if he did play early.”
Booth told ESPN.com that he chose IU because it was “a good fit” given the Hoosiers' explosive offense.
"IU was the best fit for me because first off it was in my state. The first time around, it wasn't important to me how far I'd go. It's nice to have a school with such a great offense, really good coaches, and really the final thing for me was really the players.
"I love being a part of that family. I was on my official and we just spent an hour or two just talking about playing together next year and what we're gonna do and highlight plays we're going to make next year.”
Booth said his December official visit basically clinched his decision, although he waited a month to make it official. It helped that Indiana's campus is close to his family. His father lives in Indianapolis. His mother lives in Lexington, Ky.
“At the end of my official I was in the coaches office talking to them and watching film of the offense, thinking about the whole weekend. That's when I knew it was the best fit for me.”
Booth told ESPN.com that IU junior receiver Cody Latimer's decision to enter the NFL draft didn't affect his decision.
“I would have loved to have played with him. Since he's leaving, I'll probably play more outside (receiver). It might change where I play.”
The Hoosiers were 5-7 last season, missing bowl eligibility by one victory. Booth said he hopes to help them reach the postseason. They last were in a bowl in 2007.
“We're going to bring it back and do our thing.”
Booth said he would help recruit other highly regarded players to come to Indiana. He said he had “five high-key recruits I'm talking to,” although he declined to reveal their names.
NCAA rules prevent Wilson from commenting on a recruit until he signs a national letter of intent. But because he had earlier signed a financial aid agreement with IU, Wilson had earlier released a statement on Booth.
“Dominique is one of the premier wide receivers in the country,” Wilson said in a university release. “We have been on him for several years.
“From Day One, we made a commitment to recruit the state of Indiana and it is nice to get another Indianapolis metro player who can help our program take that next step. Dominique is ready to shine on the national stage and to continue the lineage of great Indiana receivers. He is a tremendous student who is very mature physically and mentally. Dominique is a perfect fit for our offense, one which became the first in Big Ten history with five 1,000-yard receivers on the same team, and we can't wait for him to arrive in Bloomington.”