A Family Affair

Two-sport standout Alex Boston has had a whirlwind summer. In a span of 10 days, Boston's schedule has included stops at FSU's summer football camp, the Team One Baseball Showcase in Atlanta last weekend and the Blue-Grey Baseball Classic later this week in Jacksonville. Boston's parents -- Nadine and Carlton -- have been with Alex each step of the way. In this exclusive interview with Jim Henry in Atlanta, Boston and his parents talk about the recruiting process, his plans and thoughts on FSU.

ATLANTA -- There's no denying Alex Boston's athleticism.

The two-sport star combines power with speed, endurance with strength. In football, Boston has been offered scholarships to Florida State, Miami, Florida and many other top programs. In baseball, the multi-tooled outfielder could very well turn into a high draft selection next summer.

While all that's quite impressive, Boston realizes there's much more to life. In fact, he tries to live by a simple yet meaningful mantra. It's an approach that has been instilled in him by his parents, Nadine and Carlton. It's an approach the pair believes will help Boston determine his future and as well as watch over him.

"Put God first. Stay humble. Treat people like you want to be treated," Nadine said. "Everything else will fall into place."

At the moment, this is a crazy yet wonderful time in Boston's life. One of the nation's top football/baseball prospects, the 6-3, 225-pound Boston has enjoyed a whirlwind summer, combining athletics with life experiences. And his parents, a warm, caring and personable duo, have been there each step of the way, offering love, support and, of course, a kick in the fanny if needed.

"I am very proud of him. He's my life. He's the baby," Nadine said and smiled proudly. "His four older brothers are gone, out on their own, doing their own thing. It's just Alex now. But let's not forget he has had other obligations to fulfill such as Sunday school, church, his chores. Those come first before what's happening out here (laughing)."

Boston is certainly on the go-go.

After finishing the Team One Baseball Showcase at Georgia Tech Sunday night, where Boston made a good impression on more than 100 college recruiters and professional scouts, Boston and his family were driving to Jacksonville for the Blue-Grey Baseball Classic later this week. Once that all-star event concludes, Boston will return to his hometown of Bartow to begin preparations for his upcoming senior football season at Bartow Senior High School.

In addition, Boston also recently participated in FSU's football summer camp. While Boston admits baseball has always been his first love - he wants to play professionally - football remains in his immediate future.

The defensive end is considered a super pass rusher - Boston had 18 sacks as a junior. He turned in am impressive showing at the NIKE Camp at Miami earlier this summer, recording a 4.66 40 and a 30-inch vertical jump. At the Team One Showcase at Tech, Boston clocked the quickest 60 time among 200 players - 6.54 on the Yellow Jackets' practice turf.

Boston, who is yes-sir, no-sir polite and has a megawatt smile, says he thoroughly enjoyed the Seminoles' camp and could one day see himself at FSU.

" It was real nice. I liked it a whole lot," Boston said. "I met Bobby Bowden and a lot of the coaches, and they were real nice. It was pretty cool. I enjoyed myself. I wouldn't mind going there."

The scouting report on Boston, provided by TheInsiders.com, serves as an easy yet effective reminder why FSU and countless other programs have offered Boston:

"His best attribute is his quickness, especially off the ball," recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg writes. "As soon as it is snapped, he explodes up hill. He is very quick off the edge. Boston is a very good pass rusher. He knows how to get to the quarterback and knows what to do once he gets there. Boston fights off blocks well and pursues well. He has good speed and strength. Boston gets his hands up and has a knack for tipping passes. Once he gets bigger and stronger at the next level, learns some technique and how to use his hands, he should develop into a very good defensive end."

While Boston has yet to list a favorite, he does have an FSU tie in a way - his mother Nadine grew up in Bartow a few doors down from Seminole assistant coach Odell Haggins. And it's Haggins who is recruiting Boston. His parents, however, don't intend to interfere with their son's decision.

"It's going to be his decision," Nadine said.

"As long as he's happy and he's doing what he supposed to do, he's getting his grades and staying humble, the sky is the limit. He has to make the decision that's gonna be happy for him. It's not for me. Not for his dad. Not for everybody else. Just for Alex. He's the one who has to live with it. I don't want him 30 years from now saying I made it (decision) because this is where everyone wanted me to go."

Added Carlton: "I am really proud of him. His Mom and I will do everything we can to help make him happy. I ask him to have trust in the Lord, have faith in yourself and be humble. Everything else will happen. This is one thing we try to teach him. He's no better than any other kid. All of them have put in blood, sweat and tears to get to this point. His blood is no richer than anybody's else's. He has to go out and do the work for him to excel. Alex will make the right decision and we will back him 100 percent."

Boston admits the recruiting process has been quite an experience. At the moment he plans to visit FSU following his senior football season.

"It's getting crazy right now," Boston said and smiled.

"There have been schools that have recruited me both as a tight end and a defensive end. I wouldn't mind (either position). Whatever I can do to help the school. This is my first time it (recruiting) has happened like this. Sometimes I am like, 'Man, what am I going to do? All these schools want me.' I am just hoping the Lord puts me in the right program. Right now everybody is pretty much even. I haven't made up my mind. Once I make my official visits, then I will decide."

While the process promises to churn even more during the next few months, Nadine reminds her son daily to remain grounded and humble. Boston also participates in Boys State and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a solid student. Once a four-sport standout - football, baseball, basketball and track - Boston now just concentrates on football and baseball.

Even the pair can be more than enough.

"You have coaches call to the house. You have to take him here and there. I am looking at him and saying, 'You are going to thank me for your being your secretary," Nadine said and laughed.

"That's what he's learning. It's bigger than him. There are 10,000 other guys out there who are doing this, too. You need to enjoy it. This is your last year. Go out and have fun and enjoy it. You just never know where it's going to take you and where you are going to end up at. You never know. I think it's teaching him what to say, when to say it, how to say it. He's going to fine. He has been fine. We are very proud of him. He has come a long way. He's just a joy."

Added Carlton: "My biggest thing when we go back and ask him about his decision, you want stability at a university. You don't want a university that has had (coaching changes). You want somebody that you actually can say, 'Okay, I know he will be here. And he's going to be like a father figure.' I am going to be honest with you, that young man is determined to make it. But he has one or two things in mind that really makes a difference between being there or not. Whatever he decides, we will support him."

Editor's Note: Jim Henry's son, Bryan, also participated in the Team One Showcase at Tech and Henry and Boston were teammates on National Gray.

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