Anthony Boone had a rather successfull debut as a starting quarterback in last week's 42-17 win over Virginia. Credit: CHRIS SEWARD
In today's paper there's a version of my story on QB Anthony Boone's evoluation from sleepy freshman into four-touchdown-throwing starter. While I'm expecting Sean Renfree to start Satruday at Virginia Tech, I'm also expecting Boone to come in and take meaningful snaps. So give the story a read if you've got the time.
Hopefully it came across, but Boone's a real affable guy off the field. He laughs, he jokes, and he's candid, especially for a Division-I quarterback.
Boone also had the chance to play at much bigger schools than Duke. At one point, the Hokies were recruiting him hard, and he attended a spring game and a few home games up in Blacksburg while in high school. He also received an offer from his childhood dream school—South Carolina—about a month before his signing day. But he stuck with Duke, the school he committed to November of his junior year after watching the Blue Devils get beat 27-17 by a Russell Wilson-led NC State squad.
The commitment caught his parents by surprise.
"We were sitting down there (in Wallace Wade), and he text his mom saying, ‘this is where I want to go,'" Anthony Boone Sr. recalled. "It was spur of the moment. I was surprised. I never questioned why, I just told him, if this is where you want to go, let the coach know what you want."
So why did Boone keep the commitment that even surprised his parents at first, especially when more successfull programs came calling later?
"I played for an okay high school team," Boone told me. "My junior year, we didn’t win a game the whole year. My senior year, we had a really good year. I guess I’d rather be around people who aren’t really as successful because you’re naturally going to be closer to that person because you’re all struggling together. It’s not like, ‘hey we’re winning, I’m doing this, I’m doing that, I’m the man.’ Yeah, it would have been nice to go to one of the big programs and start out with a winning career and going to bowl games and getting nice uniforms and ESPN television and all that, but I just felt like a lot of the guys I met here were a lot different than other places.
"They were just real team-oriented and family-oriented in the way Coach Cut spoke to me and my family. All the coaches, they were real consistent with what they did. No other program I was around was as consistent about making sure I took care of things, asking about my family, shoing concern about other stuff outside of football. It made me feel like it was more of a home atmosphere than just a business atmosphere, which a lot of colleges have. You’re only here four years, and then you’re gone. They don’t want to build close ties, but with Coach Cut, he likes to build relationships and keep a strong bond. It’s helping out now because we trust in him and have a real strong team atmosphere. We are really family oriented with our team."
So, there you have it. After four years of laying the foundation, Cutcliffe, Boone and the rest of the so-called Duke gang are starting to see success in the win column. Check back around lunchtime for my preview of this weekend's game at Virginia Tech.