By Kent Larsen
RM's Patience Pays Off When Opportunity Knocks
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY -- Junior wide receiver Aaron Boone was confused
four games into the University of Kentucky's football season. While
the Snow College transfer was a first-team junior college
All-American last season, he couldn't seem to get into the games this
season, managing to catch just one pass in those four games. Finally
the wide receivers coach noticed his hard work and size, and Boone
has capitalized on the opportunity, snagging five passes for 94 yards
and two touchdowns in UK's game against Georgia October 20th.
Boone's size and record should have made the transition to Division I
football fairly easy. At Snow he caught 81 passes in his All-American
season, which led Kentucky to be interested in him and expect that he
would be a major factor in their offense. But head coach Guy Morriss
thought he saw some weakness in Boone's ability to get off the line
of scrimage under pressure. Boone was also behind UK's leading
receiver, Derek Abney, in the depth chart, leaving him without much
time on the field.
Boone says he was a little frustrated by the situation, "I was
confused to be honest, but I guess it's just my upbringing that the
only way I know how to get something is to work for it," he says."I
was just waiting for an opportunity, and I knew as soon as I got a
chance I had to capitalize."
That took wide receiver's coach Harold Jackson, who saw Boone's size
(6-foot 3, 205 pounds) as an advantage, especially because none of
the team's other wide receivers are over 6 foot. "We always felt he
was a guy we needed to get on the field because he's a big-body guy,"
Jackson said. "You want to get your best guys on the field. We worked
to find a way to get him on the field, because he runs pretty good,
guys bounce off him and he's hard to tackle. He looks like he's
rumbling, bumbling and stumbling out there, but he gets the job
done." He started Boone working at the other two wide receiver spots,
leading to more playing time.
Sophomore quarterback Jared Lorenzen agrees that Boone's size makes
him an easy target, "He's the playmaker we've all been looking for,"
Lorenzen said. "His size makes it easy on me. You have more options
when you throw it to Aaron. You can throw it up high, you can throw
it behind him - he has long arms and really soft hands. He's just
impossible to bring down when he puts his mind to it, and I plan on
throwing it to him a little bit more this week."
Boone is a 23-year-old returned missionary who served in Peru. He
played quarterback in high school and during his first year at Snow
College, which he red-shirted. He returned from his mission in 1998,
and started playing wide receiver for Snow, capitalizing on the
opportunity and leading to his position at UK.
Boone develops into top UK receiving threat
Cincinnati OH Post 1Nov01 S2
By Richard Skinner: Post staff reporter