Boone
Florida's Justus Boone runs a drill during spring football practice at Sanders Practice Fields on Tuesday. [Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

Injury Gives Florida Football’s Justus Boone New Perspective

Florida redshirt junior edge Justus Boone is slowly returning to the field after a season-ending ACL injury prior to the 2023 football season.

Being sidelined has given Boone a new outlook on life.

“I learned a whole lot about myself and leaned on my spiritual-ness and my relationship with God, and I got through it and found peace,” he said. “Just as fast as you can be granted with a lot of great things and great opportunities, they can be taken away from you.”

Personal Growth

Boone has earned high praise from UF coach Billy Napier. He mentioned Boone as one of his favorite players he has coached.

Boone attributes much of his growth as a man to Napier.

“When I first got here I wasn’t always with the best crowd,” Boon said, “I was still a little young, not necessarily doing everything I had to do. He just kind of stepped on me a little bit. I appreciated him for it and believed in him. I started to believe in myself and made the changes that I needed to make.”

Leadership

Before the 2023 season, Boone had been named one of the team captains.

In regards to being a leader to the younger players, Boone said “My injury gave me a different perspective. I honestly think I’m better for them and more equipped for them.”

While Boone may not be 100% back in the game physically, he emphasized, “I’m 100% mentally.”

New Number

Boone is coming back to the game a new man, with a new number: No. 1.

“Number one, man, it’s an honor,” Boone said. “I wear it every day with pride. I come here every day and try to work my behind off and let everyone know that I’m grateful for it, and I don’t take it for granted.”

Back In The Game

Boone is excited to be back practicing with his teammates.

“It feels great,” he said. “I’m not fully back, I’m no contact right now, but its an amazing feeling. Just thinking back a few months ago I couldn’t even walk so it’s a blessing.”

When asked about his progress he mentioned he’s “a little ahead of progress but we are still being precautious and not rushing anything so I can make sure I’m prepared for when the season comes.”

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