Cleveland Native And Former Ohio State Buckeye Alex Boone Reveling In Second Chance

Or more like somewhere in the middle of his second chance and his ninth life -- San Francisco 49ers' offensive lineman Alex Boone is not taking anything for granted anymore. 

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According to a story on Cleveland.com, all it took was finally succumbing to his mother's incessant advice and reaching out to a former Ohio State Buckeye and Pro Bowl offensive lineman, LeCharles Bentley, who may very well have saved not only Boone's football career, but his life.

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Boone's career almost ended with college, after a series of alcohol-related arrests dropped the four-year Buckeye starter's draft stock from the mid-round level to undrafted. The 49ers took a flyer on him, but he spent most of his first year on the practice squad, dealing with conditioning issues, which were a direct result of his drinking. Boone finally listened to his mother and called out to Bentley for help:

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"People see you in one light and it's hard to reverse that image," said Boone, 24. "People see me as the drunk, the crazy dude who always wants to fight. That was cool when I was 20. But I knew I was running out of chances."

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Bentley, whose career was cut short after signing a big deal with the Browns due to a torn patella and complications from a staph infection, trained Boone five days a week at his L. Bentley O-line Academy to whip him into shape, mentally and physically. 

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"When he came to me [in 2010] he was fat and out of shape," Bentley said. "He was like 325 pounds with a high level of body fat. There was lots of work to be done."

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Work was done. Boone trimmed the fat and has appeared in every game this season in short yardage and goal line packages; he even expects to start soon. More importantly, Boone's been sober for two years, got married in May, and is expecting his first child next week.

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"Alex has found his comfort zone in life and rediscovered his love for football," Bentley said. "I love him like a baby brother and I would go to the wall for him."

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It's a really great story, so I suggest you click over to read it.  

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