|49ers RG Alex Boone was a self-admitted dirty, loud roommate in college. (US Presswire)|
When San Francisco 49ers right guard Alex Boone drops into his stance and looks at the St. Louis Rams linebacking corps on Sunday, there'll be a familiar face – his former Ohio State teammate, James Laurinaitis.
Boone and Laurinaitis arrived in Columbus as a part of the same recruiting class in 2005 and became fast friends. Before their sophomore year they decided to become roommates, which is when Laurinaitis really got to know Boone.
Maybe even too well.
“Dirty, loud, guy can snore through four walls and you'll hear him,” Laurinaitis said with a laugh. “He's a big man. I was an advocate to try to get him one of those things you put over his face because I didn't want to hear his snoring anymore.”
There was no denial from Boone.
“True, but then again, he is bald and ugly,” Boone said. “So we're even.”
The friendly barbs between friends are only a precursor to what both are expecting to be an enjoyable day of trash talking on Sunday.
“It's going to go back and forth all game,” Boone said. “I got ammo for days on him, believe me. I'm going to throw everything out.”
Laurinaitis agreed: “It'll be some fun trash talking between me and him. I look forward to it.”
Because Boone played tackle at Ohio State, the two didn't square up much in practice, but now that he's moved inside, there figures to be more than a few opportunities for him to go after Laurinaitis on Sunday. When it's over, they'll go back to being friends.
“I've always loved James like a brother,” Boone said. “Great guy, great family. I know last year when we played them at their place, after the game I went over to their family section to talk to his dad, saw his sister and his nephew. I always thought they had a great family and his mother was so sweet.”
While Boone's rise from undrafted free agent to practice squad player to backup to starter has taken some time, Laurinaitis has started every game for the Rams since being drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. All the while, he was keeping tabs on Boone's progress with the 49ers.
“The physical stuff, I never questioned at all with Alex Boone,” he said. “He is an extremely big human being and he always worked hard. Just seeing how much he battled through – talk about perseverance. He was a practice squad guy that's worked his way up in this lineup.”