Booker came to WVU from Greenbrier Military Academy, where he starred as a defensive back. He was selected as all WPIAL and honorable mention all state. "Rich," as he was called by teammates, started at defensive back on the freshman team. He also lettered as a gymnast, and as a hurdler and high jumper on the track team. He was the leading pole vaulter on the track team and is considered one of WVU's most versatile athletes.

He ran a 9.9 100-dash and also ran the 440-yard relay for the Mountaineer trackmen. He was named Associated Press All-American honorable mention in 1969.