WEBSTER CITY - Putting on the helmet with the tigerhawk logo on both sides and running out of the tunnel at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City has always been the dream for Boone Myers.
And now he gets to chase that dream.
Myers, a Webster City High School senior, announced yesterday that he has accepted a preferred walk-on spot with the University of Iowa football team. Myers chose the Hawkeyes over a scholarship offer from the University of Northern Iowa.
DFJ file photo by Troy Banning
Webster City senior Boone Myers (89) whips Charles City quarterback Levi Miller (2) to the ground during a game last September. Myers announced yesterday he will join the University of Iowa football team next fall.
"It's always been my dream to play at Iowa because I've just loved Iowa football," Myers, who intends to redshirt as a freshman next fall, said. "It was tough to turn down UNI and the scholarship, but 50 years from now I want to say at least I tried to play football at Iowa."
A three-time Class 3A all-district performer and an Iowa Newspaper Association third-team all-state tight end this past fall, Myers projects as an offensive player at Iowa. But whether it will be at tight end or on the offensive line remains a mystery.
At 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, Myers already has the build to be a tight end at the next level. He also has a frame capable of adding bulk and weight that would be ideal to a move inside to the line.
WCHS head coach Bob Howard - who sent two players, Scott and Chris Webb, to Iowa during his years at Sigourney-Keota - doesn't have the definitive answers, but says he'd be surprised if Myers didn't end up as an offensive tackle.
"In my opinion he'll be around 260 (pounds) when he goes there and I think they'll start him right out on the offensive line, I think that's their intention anyway," Howard said. "Iowa is really high on his future and potential and I know they're projecting him as a pretty big young man by the time he's 20.
"(Iowa line coach) Reese Morgan and I are good friends and I really haven't had Reese speak to me as highly as he spoke about Boone with what they saw on film and what they're projecting. They aren't just going to take Iowa kids to take Iowa kids. They are really excited about his potential."
As a preferred walk-on, Myers will be able to attend preseason camp in early August, and he'll also be allowed to take part in Iowa's training table and study table services.
The NCAA grants schools a limited number of preferred walk-on slots per year.
"Being a preferred walk-on was vey important," Myers said. "It's one of those things where if I go there and work hard, I'm going to earn a scholarship in the next year or two."
The list of walk-ons to leave an impression at Iowa during the Kirk Ferentz era is both extensive and impressive. Dallas Clark, Sean Considine, Bruce Nelson, Derek Pagel, Rob Bruggeman, Grant Steen and Mark Weisman - they all started their Hawkeye careers without scholarships.
Myers took his official visit to Iowa in December and says he made his decision two weeks ago.
He'll begin training for the next phase of his career once basketball season ends in late February or early March.
"Iowa is going to send me workout sheets and I'll just have to start getting in shape and putting on weight for fall camp," he said. "I'm going to be in college with guys that are already 6-6 and 300 pounds, so it will be tough. But I'm just going to work hard and I'm excited. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Howard says he has no doubt his former player will put in the work necessary to compete at the highest level of college football.
"I know how hard he'll work and what he looks like now is not what he's going to look like at Christmas time," Howard said. "This is really a great opportunity for Boone, and as good as he looks now, he really is a blank slate for what he can be athletically with his frame and his work ethic."
If and when he gets the chance to step onto the field, Myers says you'll be able to see his smile from the top row of the stadium.
"That will be surreal," he said. "I'll be one of the happiest guys ever."
Said Howard: "The chance to walk into the Big House or the Horseshoe or the Rose Bowl, that's what you do this for. So for Boone to have that chance, it's pretty special."
Myers was a force on both sides of the ball for WCHS last fall. He caught 18 passes for 231 yards and five touchdowns, and at defensive tackle he piled up 36 solo tackles, including three sacks.