CHARLOTTE – North Carolina safety Tre Boston watched every Carolina Panthers game on television last season.
Now he has a chance to seriously upgrade his vantage point.
The Panthers selected Boston in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 128th overall pick.
"It's a great day to be a Carolina Panther, isn't it?" Boston said from his Fort Myers, Fla., home. "It's amazing to be staying in the state of North Carolina.
"I really felt like this was going to be the slot for me. I don't know why, but I just felt like we had a connection when we talked. And playing for North Carolina, I was able to watch them on TV every game literally."
Boston liked what he saw from the Panthers, who finished second in the NFL in total defense and scoring defense in 2013. The feeling was mutual, with the Panthers happy to have the 6-1, 205-pounder who recorded 12 interceptions in four seasons for the Tar Heels and racked up 70 or more tackles each of the last three seasons.
"We thought Tre Boston was a very good value there," Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said. "He's very smart. He can get everybody lined up. He sets a tone back there, is a very physical player. On top of that, he has very good ball skills. He can provide great depth, and he has a special-teams mentality to him."
Carolina had depth at safety with the additions of Roman Harper and Thomas Decoud to go with Robert Lester, who contributed heavily as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013. The Panthers also have special teams stalwart Colin Jones in the position group.
"I know they brought in two veterans in Harper and DeCoud. To be behind those guys, just talking about it I just get chills because I know I can learn so much from those guys," said Boston, who played cornerback for most of his first two seasons with the Tar Heels. "They see me as a safety. If I have to I could play both, but I'm coming in to play safety.
"Honestly, I can do it all. I'm not just one type of safety. I can ball-hawk and I can come up and play in the box."