SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Safety Tre Boston described the moments leading up to his marriage proposal Monday as one of the few times in his life he's truly been nervous.
Nerves of steel are a good trait in Boston's chosen profession.
"Nervous? I was beyond nervous," Boston said. "There are about five times I have been nervous in my whole life. It was nerve-racking.
"But taking that step, it means a lot to me and it means a lot to my fiancé. I'm growing up, and I hope to grow up in this league also."
Boston, who typically played with just the right amount of reckless abandon as a rookie, battled through injures to land a starting role before season's end.
Boston underwent hernia surgery last June and participated in part of just one training camp practice before re-injuring himself. He was inactive for the first five games of the regular season but then began steadily carving out a role for himself that turned into a starting assignment for the final month of the season.
"Last season taught me a lot," said Boston, a fourth-round draft choice from North Carolina. "I didn't practice as much as I needed to, but when I did, I got the job done and it was good enough to be who I was last year.
"But that is not who I want to be this year. I want to be better, and I'll be able to take my game to the next level this training camp."