Shawn Boone playing through adversity

Matt Carter, Editor
The Wolfpacker

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Ken Martin

Senior safety/nickel Shawn Boone’s memory is not the best when it comes to dealing with hurricanes, but to the best he can recall he has been through three of them growing up.

The native of West Palm Beach, Fla., thus was not fazed when NC State played Notre Dame last fall while Hurricane Matthew was making landfall a couple of hours to the southeast of Raleigh.

“I don’t even think that was a real hurricane, that was just a bunch of rain,” Boone said, jokingly.

However, Hurricane Irma this past week proved to be serious business that hit home for Boone, literally. The roof covering his family room caved in, causing damage to the house.

Fortunately, Boone’s family came out unharmed.

“It’s a stressful situation, but they’re doing fine,” Boone said.

The hope is that Boone can help provide relief this weekend. His family is supposed to be at the Furman game at 12:20 p.m. Saturday. Boone acknowledged focusing on football has been difficult since Irma made landfall.

“Because I’m worried, and my family’s kind of all I have, and I’m a family person,” Boone said.

His mother has given him reassurances not to worry, and the coaching staff has told Boone that if there was anything he needed, the coaches would be there for him.

Speaking strictly from a football standpoint, what Boone could use is continuity in the secondary. He is starting at nickel because the projected starter after spring, sophomore Trae Meadows, is no longer with the team. But Boone had to play some safety against South Carolina because redshirt junior starter Dexter Wright sustained a groin injury.

Boone moved back to nickel in that contest when his replacement, junior Freddie Phillips Jr., tore his Achilles. That meant sophomore Tim Kidd-Glass came in at free safety to allow Boone to return to nickel. On the outside at corner, fifth-year senior Johnathan Alston started at corner after a preseason injury to projected starter and senior Mike Stevens.

Alston’s struggles against Marshall led to his benching at halftime in favor of redshirt freshman James Valdez, but the latter tore his ACL in the second half and has been lost for the season.

Boone noted that chemistry in the secondary is “very important.”

“You got to be able to trust the guy that’s behind you, that’s next to you,” Boone noted. “If you have any doubt at any time, especially for me since I’ve been there and known how to control the defense, I get a little frustrated sometimes.

“But I know these are young guys so I just keep encouraging them to do their job, read your keys, let the pays come to you don’t try to be a hero and make the plays.”

Stevens is expected to return against Furman and should be a full go against Florida State on Sept. 23. Head coach Dave Doeren also said that Wright is progressing towards his potential return. However, Boone knows that the secondary will continue to be tested.

“We knew that going into the season, so it’s nothing new that they did, we just got to be able to make sure we’re on our game and start fast, making sure we’re attacking them,” Boone said.


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