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Horse Tracks: Booker healthy and ready to compete

The Denver Broncos rookie running back is nearing 100% health and is ready to compete for a share of carries for the 2016 season.

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Broncos Country.

Time will tell, but the Denver Broncos may have gotten a steal in the 2016 NFL Draft when All-PAC 12 running back Devontae Booker fell to the fourth-round of the NFL Draft.

In two years at Utah, Booker rushed for 2773 yards and sported a 5.0 yard per carry average and 21 touchdowns.  He demonstrated his worth as a runner, but was also a valuable asset in their passing game totaling 80 receptions for 622 yards in those two seasons.

As you can clearly see, it wasn't a lack of highlights, production or skills that caused the former Utah Ute to slide down the draft board, but a torn meniscus suffered late in his senior season that worried teams on his ability to contribute as a rookie. Broncos fans shouldn't be too concerned about Booker being labeled as 'injury-prone', because his torn meniscus was his first injury in his entire football career.

"This was my first injury ever. I didn’t know what to expect. It was tough in the beginning doing the rehab stuff because it was my first injury ever," stated Booker.  "Once I started getting back in the groove of things and started feeling my knee coming back to normal, then everything started going out the door with me thinking about my knee and wanted to get it stronger."

While his other companions from the Broncos 2016 Draft class stayed home over the summer, Booker stayed in Colorado in order to rehab and prepare himself for the next chapter in his journey — proving his worth as a rusher at football's highest level.

"It was definitely an investment for me over this whole portion when I got up here. I actually stayed here throughout the summer break when all the guys when home. I was just rehabbing," said Booker. "Like I said, it was an investment for me to do that so I can get back on the field quicker and go out and compete with the rest of the guys."

With each day that passes, Booker is growing more confident about his rehab and believes he is ready to make a difference for the Broncos in 2016.

"I am really confident about it. I’m just here to compete and do what I need to do for the team so I can get out and play a lot this year," remarked Booker. "I think I’m relied on heavily by some of the coaches to exceed expectations, and I believe that I will do so."

Earlier in the off-season, the Broncos re-signed veteran running back C.J. Anderson to a four-year deal worth $18 million dollars and it is expected that he will receive a lion share of the carries this coming season.  However, the competition behind Anderson for the number two role is wide open and Booker will have his chance to earn his fair share of carries for the upcoming campaign.

And by all accounts, Booker is ready to show his coaches, teammates and Broncos Country what he can do on the field.

"I feel good. I don’t think I could have landed in a better situation here in this offensive scheme. I’m going to do everything I can to go out there and play my butt off. It’s why I can play."

Here is to wishing Booker and the rest of the Broncos rookies nothing but the best in their first season in the NFL.  Broncos Country is rooting for you!

As always, thank you for reading and here is today's offering of Horse Tracks.

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