Boone soaking up system at UWA

Published 10:36 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2009

LIVINGSTON – Former Demopolis High standout Rick Boone may have to wait his turn at the University of West Alabama. However, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Will Hall seems confident that the true freshman’s time will come.

“He is going to be a great, great player for us before he leaves,” Hall said.

For the time being, Boone sits among a crowded quarterback depth chart that currently includes incumbent starter Deon Williams and redshirt freshman Gary Johnston.

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“He knows he’s got some talent in front of him,” Hall said.

In the interim, Hall said Boone is utilizing every opportunity available to better himself in view of one day being the quarterback of the UWA Tigers.

“Rick’s like a sponge right now,” Hall said. “He comes (to practice) everyday. He learns everyday. He is attentive.”

Boone shares a strong relationship with Hall, the man who offered him a scholarship prior to signing day in February. Hall was an undersized quarterback at the University of North Alabama, where he found great success as a starter.

With that level of experience and success, Boone finds little hesitation in turning to Hall with any questions. During last Wednesday’s practice, Boone threw an interception during seven-on-seven drills before completing a pair of passes. Immediately following the exercise, the Tigers were given a water break. Instead of rushing to the sidelines with his teammates, Boone sought out Hall, who was at the far end of the field.

“He’s the same was as (Demopolis High School coach Tom) Causey,” Boone said of Hall’s personality. “We can joke around and play. But when it is time to work, it is time to work.”

In addition to learning from Hall, Boone has begun to pluck wisdom from the experience of Williams, a redshirt junior who is entering his fourth year with the Tigers.

“He’s a couple steps ahead on the system,” Boone said. “That’s somebody I can learn from by watching him.”

Boone’s natural talent combined with the resources available to him, have helped to accelerate the pace at which he adjusts to the college game.

“I feel like I’m starting to catch on to the stuff that is going on. I am learning to read the way (Hall) wants us to read,” Boone said. “(The game) is a few steps faster. It makes reads a little bit easier. It’s coming along.”

“He can make all the throws. He’s quick on his feet. He can run our option,” Hall said of Boone’s physical and mental abilities. “He’s just got to keep learning, keep doing what he is doing.”

His immediate future is undetermined. He is competing for the third quarterback job but could find himself redshirted. Still, Boone is determined that he will focus only on the things over which he has control.

“I don’t know what is going to go on,” Boone said of his status for the season. “The final decision is going to be left up to (Hall). I’m just going to go out and play and do what I’m doing and everything else should work itself out.”

Boone’s role on the 2009 UWA roster may yet be undefined, but Hall is adamant that the DHS alum is a valuable cog in the future of the program.

“As (head coach Bobby) Wallace and I try to change the image of this program, (Boone’s) the kind of kid we are trying to build around,” Hall said. “He is the kind of kid who lifts your program up in every way.”