Ben Axon Remains Committed to Tigers for Now

by - Senior Writer -

In order to get an idea of the type of runner and athlete that Ben Axon is, all you have to do is ask his position coach for the Manatee Hurricanes, Rod Frazier, about a play that happened during last Friday night's district game against Charlotte High School.

"He took the handoff, and he was stopped by several tacklers after a three-yard gain," Frazier says. "Then Ben just started moving the pile forward, and he carried five defenders another nine yards before they finally took him down. He turned a three yard gain into a 12-yard gain and a first down.

"I can't say enough about that one play. His desire and will to compete are what make him special. He wants to be the best player out there, and he is determined and wants to succeed. I've never seen another kid outwork him or out on the field or the weight room. He always wants to get better."

Ben Axon 2007 Junior Season Highlight Video

The 6-1, 200-pound senior committed to Clemson last June, and said he has been coached to run between the tackles to gain that extra yardage.

"I love running between the tackles, because when the game is on the line, running around people is not the solution," Axon said. "You have to run forward, and my coach is always telling me that I have to run that way. That is what I am always working in the weight room, and trying to better and stronger so I can run between the tackles."

Axon said that if he were to compare himself to a current college running back, it would not be one in Clemson's current stable, but one a little further down the highway.

"I feel like I have a good combination of both strength and speed," Axon said. "If I had to compare myself to anyone right now, it would probably be Knowshon Moreno of Georgia. I think I have the speed, but I can also run in between the tackles like that."

Clemson will definitely lose James Davis to graduation, and C.J. Spiller is another possibility, so Axon knew that he had a chance at playing time early on for the Tigers. Axon said Monday's resignation of head coach Tommy Bowden has not changed his mind because the current staff is still in place.

"When I made the commitment to Clemson, I made a commitment to the coaching staff," Axon said. "I have a great relationship with all the coaching staff. Because of them, Clemson feels like home, and that is why I made the commitment.

"I am firmly in there, though. I have spoken with the coaches, and they know my situation, and they have told me to hang on. I told them I would give them my respect and hang on for a little while."

If Axon does indeed make it to Clemson, he feels like he should be able to help the Tigers right away.

"I am looking forward to being a true freshman and playing right away," Axon said. "I think my body is ready right now. I might need to add a little weight, but that's all. I just want to get in there and learn the playbook, get my feet wet, and get ready to help the team in any way I can."

As a junior, Axon rushed for 1,036 yards and 16 touchdowns. This season, Axon is averaging 6.2 yards per carry with 490 yards and eight touchdowns in five games. He is scheduled for an official visit to Clemson November 15th and has also set a visit with West Virginia December 13th.

In other recruiting news, athlete Larry Raper of Shelby, NC has decommitted from the Tigers and will look at other schools while waiting to see what happens at Clemson.

2009 Football Commitments

Ben Axon           RB  6-1  196 4.5  Bradenton, FL 
Quandon  Christian LB  6-3  205 4.5  Lake View, SC 
Eric Fields        LB  6-1  205 4.5  Warner Robins, GA 
Malliciah Goodman  DE  6-4  260 4.5  Florence, SC 
Corico Hawkins     LB  6-0  218 4.5  Milledgeville, GA 
J.K. Jay           OL  6-6  275 4.7  Greenville, SC 
Roderick McDowell  RB  5-10 175 4.4  Sumter, SC 
Tyler Shatley      ATH 6-3  255 4.7  Connellys Springs, NC 
Brandon Thomas     OL  6-4  280 4.7  Spartanburg, SC

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