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Boone plans to sign with UWA

Demopolis High senior quarterback Rick Boone intends to sign an offer next Wednesday that would enable him to continue his football career at the University of West Alabama.

“I’m excited,” Boone said of his decision. “The beginning of last year, I thought my senior year would be my last year playing football.”

Boone’s senior year proved to be his most productive as a Tiger.

The dual-threat quarterback carried the ball 54 times for 708 yards and nine touchdowns while passing for an additional 1,434 yards and 18 scores during the Tigers’ 2008 campaign.

“They’re getting a high-quality young man,” DHS head coach Tom Causey said. “I think they’re getting a heck of a football player to boot.”

Boone’s off-season preparation was hindered last summer by obligations he had with the Upward Bound program. Those obligations often allowed him to practice only two days a week with his teammates during the Tigers’ summer workouts. Boone knew that he had some ground to make up heading into the season and, according to Causey, he did his part.

“Early in the season, he did struggle,” Causey said, “and I credit Rick for hanging in there and asking questions.”

The fruits of Boone’s labors quickly began showing on the football field. Still, he credits his successes to the players around him.

“They put me in the best positions,” Boone said of his Demopolis High teammates. “Every play people thought I made was because of them.”

The 5-foot-11-inch Boone, who had long believed he would be too short to play the quarterback position at the next level, did not turn his attention to the prospect of playing college football until late in the season.

“Their offensive coordinator, he played quarterback at (the University of North Alabama), and he ain’t tall at all,” Boone said of UWA offensive coordinator Will Hall, the 2003 Harlon Hill Trophy recipient. “He doesn’t judge anybody on numbers like height. He says if they can play, they can play.”

Boone said he was hopeful that a team would take a flier on him and allow him to walk on. However, UWA’s interest in him proved to be much more than he imagined.

“I was just excited to hear news of anybody even interested in me,” Boone said. “When I found out it was on scholarship, it just put me over the top.”