DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -Shortly after Lorenzo Booker learned he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, the Florida State running back became excited about learning nuances of the NFL game from Ricky Williams.
Instead, he'll essentially be replacing Williams.
Not only does Booker have the same locker that Williams occupied in the Dolphins' training complex, he's also likely be Ronnie Brown's backup in Miami's backfield and fill the role many expected Williams to have before his suspension for violating the league's drug policy was extended until at least September.
And Williams' loss - all indications are that the Dolphins will not welcome back the former NFL rushing champion when, or if, he is reinstated by the league - appears to be Booker's gain.
``I'd be lying if I said that I didn't anticipate getting more carries because of that,'' Booker said Friday. ``But at the same time, I was looking forward to learning from him also. Regardless of what the guy does on his own time, he's a great football player and no one can take that from him. ... But, obviously, I'm excited about the opportunity to get more touches early.''
Brown is excited by that possibility, too.
He wasted no time in beginning to forge a relationship with Booker, teaching him some of the lessons he's learned since he was drafted No. 2 overall by the Dolphins in 2005 - and predicted Friday that the rookie will make an impact for Miami right away this season.
``He's doing a great job,'' Brown said. ``He came in and has been catching the ball real well, is learning a lot on the move. It'd be a lot for a lot of people, but he's taking everything in, isn't making a lot of mental mistakes and is getting better on a daily basis.''
The 5-foot-10, 191-pound Booker generated 3,176 yards of offense in his four seasons at Florida State, averaging nearly 4.8 yards per carry and 8.1 yards per reception - amid some cries that he wasn't used enough by the Seminoles.
It doesn't sound like that will be the case in Miami, where Dolphins coach Cam Cameron calls Booker ``a change-of-pace guy,'' meaning someone who can run the ball, catch it, even return it if necessary.
function of his mind than anything else.''
So far, Booker says his mind is fine as he acclimates to football's highest level.
He was the Dolphins' third-round selection in last month's draft, going No. 71 overall - lower than he wanted, but he was hardly complaining about making the relatively short move from Tallahassee to South Florida. Booker will become a father in two months, and the baby's mother is from Bradenton, about a three-hour drive from Miami's practice facility.
``That was one of the things I was worried about, because a little kid, you can't be flying back and forth,'' said Booker, who's from Ventura, Calif., not far from Los Angeles. ``It couldn't have worked out better. Not only that, I always said that if I couldn't live in L.A., I'd want to live here, because it's the closest thing to it. God was looking out for me right there.''
Plus, he's already signed a four-year deal with Miami, meaning his mother won't have to worry about working any more - ``Don't spend all my money,'' he told her - and all he has to do these days is concentrate solely on football.
``All that's on my mind right now is helping these guys in whatever way possible,'' Booker said.

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