Boone (left) during his time with the Raiders. (AP Photo)
After a solid career at the University of Utah, offensive lineman Jesse Boone has bounced around different professional football leagues looking for a steady roster spot. After stints with two NFL teams, an Arena League team and an NFL Europe team, Boone is now the starting center for the Las Vegas Locos of the new United Football League . Between games, Boone took some time to share his football experiences with Active.com .
Your bags are rarely unpacked in professional football. Take us through your career since graduating from Utah in 2006.
I went to the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent. Then I got cut in the middle of training camp, sent home. I took the first job that came up which was with the Utah Blaze of the (Arena Football League). I went to training camp with them, and about a week before training camp ended I got a call from NFL Europe and the Rhein Fire and they said they wanted me to come out there. I thought that at the time it was a better opportunity for me to get back to the NFL. I asked (the Blaze) to be released and they released me so I went out to Europe and another training camp.
My year started in February. I did a full month of training camp, then a full month of training camp in Europe then a full 10-week season and then came home for about a two-week break before the Oakland Raiders called me in for a training camp. I made their practice squad and I was there for an entire season. I did the math and it was 50 straight weeks of in-season football.
You’re now in your fourth league, with the Las Vegas Locos of the UFL. Is the constant job search a grind, especially compared to players like Brett Favre who have millions of dollars and all sorts of job security?
I’m in the majority. Brett Favre is an exception. You look even at guys like Terrell Owens , a superstar. He’s still working from team to team and getting released and having to get picked up and signing what deal is available. It’s really the business. It’s a very small minority that actually signs a big deal and stays in one city for a long time. The majority of us are moving quite often and taking whatever opportunity is available. Really what we’re trying to do is get film and show that we can play and try to get to Brett’s status.
When did you think that professional football could be in your future?
My junior year at Utah. I would say I was an average football player my first couple of years. It’s like this for most college football players. You come in high school as the top dog, and everyone is the team captain and everyone’s all-state, all-region, whatever else. Then you come to college, and you’re 18 years old playing against guys that are 22. You’re just at a disadvantage as far as how far you matured. Typically it takes you a couple of years to figure out how to play.
I played scout team and I got beat up on for a few years. My junior year I grew up and they gave me the reins of the offense and gave me the starting center job. I actually started my sophomore year at tackle, and honestly I was scared to death. I didn’t feel like I could block anybody. I ended up getting injured and only having to go through that for three games.