Get Your Orange Bowl Gear Here!
Ben Boulware: The recruit that almost got away

  by - Senior Writer - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 10:58 AM

Ben Boulware is the 2013 Clemson commit that almost didn’t happen.

The 4-star linebacker out of Anderson (SC) T.L. Hanna put up monster numbers during his sophomore and junior seasons for the Yellow Jackets, and began to attract attention from all over country. The offers came from all over the country – places like Georgia, UCLA and Texas A&M.

However, it was the school just up the road from his house, the school where his brother Garrett Boulware played baseball, that he desperately wanted an offer from. And that offer seemed like it was never going to occur.

“If you look at my stats, I felt like a legitimate football coach could look at those and tell I could play,” Boulware told TigerNet this week. “If a guy is 6-4 and runs a 4.4 but has crappy stats, you know he might not be a great player. But if a player is 6-1 and 225 pounds and has almost 180 tackles in a season, then that proves to you that they know the game of football. I am not sure why they were looking past me. I had 180 tackles my junior year, and I had proved I could play in a good region, so I was kind of confused and mad.”

Boulware recorded 151 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four interceptions, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a sack as a sophomore, and bettered that with 178 tackles and four sacks as a junior. However, he didn’t fit the linebacker profile of former Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin SteeleKevin Steele
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
View Full Profile
, and Boulware had to wait until the coaching change to Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile
to get his offer.

Venables took a look at Boulware’s film and saw what everyone who had watched him play already knew – he was a smart, physical football player with a nose for the football and a knack for making plays. The Tigers offered Bouwlare on March 10th of last year and he committed just 16 days later.

“The first thing he [Venables] told me when he saw me was that he didn’t understand why I didn’t already have an offer from Clemson, and that he was sorry,” Boulware said. “He told me he had watched my film and liked what he saw. He told me that Steele had a different scheme and liked a different kind of linebacker. I feel like Coach Venables could care less about a player’s size – he just wants a linebacker that knows the game of football and plays all out. Once I got that offer it was a great day.”

Boulware is finishing out his senior season at Hanna, and will be on Clemson’s campus early next month to begin his life as a Tiger.

“I had to finish out the baseball season and after school every day I would just go work out and then go to baseball,” he said. “Now that baseball is over I have just been working out every day and getting ready. I will be on campus June 23rd, and that will be the start of a new chapter in my life, and I am ready to get that started. I am looking forward to it.”

Boulware says he hasn’t talked to Clemson’s coaches about playing time, and feels like whether he redshirts or not is completely in his control.

“They really haven’t talked to me about it, but if they tell me that I can play right away and I don’t do very well, then I won’t play,” he said. “They might tell me I am going to redshirt, but if I go in there and just play my game, then they might change their minds. It all depends on how I play when I go in there. I hope they see that I am a dude that loves the game of football, and I will give 100 percent on every single play and bust my butt to make every single tackle and help the team out.”

He said his toughness comes from a youth spent racing dirt bikes and dealing with the injuries that were a normal part of the sport. He also learned that from his older brother, who has been Clemson’s best hitter on the baseball team this season despite playing at the demanding position of catcher.

“I feel like growing up that I learned that tough mentality when I raced,” he said. “I had a broken bone in my leg, and that bone was sticking out, but I had to deal with that. I learned that when riding, and then I had an older brother that taught me that as well. I felt like that was an important part of me being who I am right now.”

Rate this Story:
23 votes
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
    Final Spring Game Thoughts - 6 days ago
    The Chad Kelly benching incident caused most to overlook a lot of the good things we saw during the Spring Game especially on the defensive side of the ball. Full Story »
    Venables pleased with the effort of the defense Saturday - 7 days ago
    Defensive coordinator Brent Venables admitted Saturday that he liked some of the things he saw out of his defense Saturday, but also said he thinks a summer of work and film study can make the group even better. Full Story »
    Smith and Venables: a match made in heaven - 1 week ago
    It was the relationship that Chad Smith forged with Venables during a high school camp, the similarities between their personalities and the value Clemson places on family that led the Sterling (VA) Dominion outside linebacker to commit to Clemson Thursday afternoon. Full Story »
    Venables rips defense after lackluster Wednesday practice - 2 weeks ago
    Defensive coordinator Brent Venables was irate following Wednesday's practice, a practice that he felt was subpar for his veteran unit. What did he have to say about the practice? What else was on his mind? Full Story »
    Friday was all about the defense - 2 weeks ago
    News and notes following Friday's practice and interview session with Brent Venables. What does he say about the defensive line? What does he say about Ben Boulware and the other young players? Full Story »

Post your comments
Subject (Replies: 27) Author
Front Page Story: Ben Boulware: The recruit that almost got away
TigerNet News®
Re: Front Page Story: Ben Boulware: The recruit that almost got away
He's a stud that become the No.1 player in the state
Yep - I'm pretty sure that was a LB's role in Steele's D.
Smiling Tiger®
Re: He's a stud that become the No.1 player in the state
Frankly, I would've recruited him simply on his Twitter feed
Can't believe Steele passed on him smh. Anyway, the last
So, let me see if I have this straight. He raced a dirt
That's the way I read it
Of course. We're a couple of geniuses.***
I think there was a story about Garrett...
Re: I think there was a story about Garrett...
Re: Front Page Story: Ben Boulware: The recruit that almost got away
Re: Front Page Story: Ben Boulware: The recruit that almost got away
Re: Front Page Story: Ben Boulware: The recruit that almost got away
The recruit that almost got away
possibly another reason Steele is not here
Yep, you've got to keep good relations with local schools
Re: Front Page Story: Ben Boulware: The recruit that almost got away
And to think there are probably people that still think
Just another nail in Steele's coffin---inept egomaniac
Re: Steele....
Re: Steele....
Re: Steele....
Re: Re: I think there was a story about Garrett...
Would not surprise me to...
Prime T. Tiger

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Signup for Alerts: