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David Boston, former NFL All-Pro, staying humble in Humble
Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver David Boston has found his niche back home in Humble, Texas as a real estate developer. (Courtesy: David Boston)

David Boston, former NFL All-Pro, staying humble in Humble

HUMBLE, Texas (BVM) – While Humble, Texas may not jump off the map the way nearby Houston does, it is considered a hidden gem of sorts in the state. Within this hidden gem of a town is a hidden gem of a person. That resident is David Boston, a former NFL All-Pro who returned to his hometown a handful of years after his playing career.

“I just wanted to reconnect with my family,” Boston said of his decision to come back. “We are all a really close family here in Houston so once my playing days were over I felt like I wanted to be around a good support system and be around them.”

Boston grew up in Humble but also grew up around the game of football. His dad, Byron, rose to become an NFL referee during Boston’s youth, allowing him to be as close to the game’s top level as a young kid could.

“Being around football with my dad and being able to travel around to some of the games, it gave me a goal to reach for,” Boston said.

Always a standout athlete, Boston became a star for Humble High School both on the football field and on the hardwood for the school’s basketball team. While football ultimately ended up being his choice, if it wasn’t for his dad Boston may have played basketball in college.

“I was this close,” Boston said.

Instead, Boston decided to pursue a path on the gridiron. While the All-American received plenty of national attention, even visiting Michigan, Florida and Texas, Boston was won over by Ohio State University.

“I went on a visit there, loved the school and loved the players there,” Boston said. “They had a lot of guys getting ready to enter the draft – Shawn Springs, Eddie George, Joey Galloway – so the environment was great. Out of all those schools, I just thought Ohio State felt like the right place.”

Once with the Buckeyes, Boston quickly rose to become a star. Thanks to mentors on the team, Boston was able to play early as a freshman, finishing his first year with 33 receptions for 450 yards and seven touchdowns along with returning 32 punts for 297 yards and another score.

It was during that freshman season that Boston also had his favorite game during his time in Columbus. In the 1997 Rose Bowl game against Arizona State, it was the young freshman wideout who made the difference for the Buckeyes, scoring two touchdowns, including the game-winner with just 19 seconds left in the game, in the team’s 20-17 victory.

“That was on such a big stage and me not being aware of how big of a moment that is for the school and everybody watching, a lot of stuff changed for me after that game,” Boston said.

David Boston Ohio State Buckeyes Rose Bowl
Boston burst onto the stage as a freshman, catching two touchdown passes in the Rose Bowl to help lead the Buckeyes to victory. (Credit: Eric Albrecht/USA TODAY NETWORK)

Boston’s stellar freshman year would be the starting point for a legendary Buckeyes career where he finished with 191 receptions for 2,855 receiving yards and 34 receiving touchdowns. After just three seasons with Ohio State, Boston held 13 school records including career receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and he decided to enter his name into the 1999 NFL Draft.

The star wideout was selected early in the draft, going No. 8 overall to the Arizona Cardinals. It is a moment that Boston still remembers fondly today.

“It was a great feeling to get drafted,” Boston said. “We were all out in California for the draft party at my agent’s house. It was a good feeling watching all the hard work and everything that I had dreamed about happen and come to life.”

Once in Arizona, Boston steadily built his game, getting adjusted to the speed and newer rules of the NFL. After he began to figure out the intricacies of the NFL, Boston excelled.

In 2001, Boston exploded onto the scene. During the year, Boston played in all 16 games catching 98 passes for 1,598 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. His 1,598 yards led the league and he was named to both the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams. While Boston was the one making the plays on the field, he gives much of the credit to his success to his coach.

“I had a great season in 2001 and we had a coach come in there that changed my whole viewpoint as a receiver,” Boston said. “I had never come across a coach who had any kind of impact with me to the degree Jerry Sullivan was able to have on me. I think just me getting better, working hard and throwing him into the mix, I think he was able to guide me to that Pro Bowlcaliber year that I had.”

David Boston Arizona Cardinals
Boston had an All-Pro season in 2001, leading the league with over 1,500 receiving yards. (Credit: James D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports)

Unfortunately, Boston’s career started to go off the rails the next season when a tear in his patellar tendon in his right knee caused him to miss the bulk of the 2003 campaign. While Boston rehabbed and recovered well, he began suffering injuries frequently for the rest of his career.

Following the 2002 injury, Boston only played in 19 more regular season games in his career after playing in 56 the previous four years. From 2003-07, Boston suffered another major knee injury and a broken foot which ultimately led him to retire in 2008.

“It was tough,” Boston said. “When you’re used to having success like I did in college and in the first three or four years in the NFL, it seemed like once I had one injury I would recover fully and as soon as I would come back something else would hit me.”

Like many former NFL players, it took Boston some time to find his place outside of football. After working as a trainer in Florida for a few years, Boston decided to move home in 2012.

“When I moved back to Texas, I was around family and started a crossfit gym and trained younger kids,” Boston said. “I loved it and I still do favors with some of the high school kids but when I was around my family I felt that it gave me a good support system to be around.”

Today, Boston’s career is much different than it was when he was in his twenties. The former NFL star is now focused on commercial real estate development rather than scoring touchdowns. Boston owns a commercial plaza in his hometown along with his wife Erin, who he met once he moved back to Humble. They plan to expand it in the near future.

“I never thought when I was at Ohio State I’d be in the commercial real estate business but here I am.

“We plan to open up another commercial building on another track of land somewhere here in Houston,” Boston said. “We’ve been scouting several locations so we’re going to continue to stay in the real estate business on the development side, buying the land and developing the buildings.”

Boston Square Plaza Humble Texas
The Bostons own the Boston Square Plaza in Humble and hope to expand in the near future. (Courtesy: David Boston)

Meanwhile, Boston is also supporting his two sons, Jaylen and Brayden, as they make their way through school. Like their father, both are excellent athletes.

“Jaylen, who is 14, is a basketball player year-round and he’s doing really well,” Boston said. “My younger son, Brayden, is a primary baseball player, but he plays basketball as well. He’s doing really well in basketball and baseball.”

It is his sons that Boston is most excited about. Now back at home and at peace, Boston plans to train his two boys as they make their way through their own athletics journeys and he is excited about the future.

“I’m really, really looking forward to watching them grow and develop into top athletes,” Boston said. 

Brayden Boston basketball
Boston’s youngest son, Brayden, excels in both basketball and baseball in Humble. (Courtesy: David Boston)

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