Ben Batson chases dream instead of offers, winds up a Tiger


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Batson poses with his family on National Signing Day
Batson poses with his family on National Signing Day

Ben Batson has grown up around the Clemson program, and he’s watched all of his heroes don the orange and white and play the game he loves. Now he gets to join their ranks as he chases his dream.

The 2018 quarterback safety prospect and son of Clemson strength and conditioning coach Joey Batson will walk on to the football team this fall.

“It's kind of a dream come true in a sense because I've always sat back and watched everybody come through. When I was a child, Charlie Whitehurst was the quarterback,” Batson told TigerNet. “I've just seen so many different players come through and to think, 'Oh, wait, I'm going to be one of them now,' is kind of crazy. I feel like reality really won't set in until I actually start class. I've been around Clemson so much but I've been in a classroom. My brother said, sometimes you forget your at home because you're going to class and the stuff that you don't do growing up.”

Batson had chances to play elsewhere but wanted to chase his dream instead of offers.

“The offer I had with The Citadel was one that I was really considering. I went on a visit and their coaches came and met with me a lot,” he said. “With The Citadel, you have to like the military part and that just wasn't really me. I told Coach Swinney that Clemson is my dream. You can either chase offers or you can chase dreams. Coach Swinney is always preaching about chasing your dreams, and I just felt like, 'Why would I go somewhere just because I have an offer there when I can go somewhere I really want to be.' I feel like at Clemson you're going to get a fair chance no matter who you are. Hunter Renfrow is a good example. Most places wouldn't have given him a chance because he's a walk-on, but Clemson is a place that it doesn't matter who you are. If you can play, you're going to play.”

Batson played quarterback at Daniel before transferring to Dorman last season. He thinks he will switch positions at Clemson but hasn’t ruled out a shot at playing quarterback.

“I think I'll end up playing safety. I think the reason Coach Swinney keeps talking about quarterback is because we could have guys transfer and that's when I would have to step in,” Batson said. “That option is always there and I know I can do that. I'm going to start out at safety. They might try me out at several different places and see what's best. Coach Swinney told me I'm like the emergency quarterback. You have to have depth at quarterback because it's the most important position. If that's the case and they keep me at quarterback then great. That's where I've been my whole life, so no problem. I'm always looking for a challenge, so that doesn't really matter. I feel like I'm athletic enough to play just about anything, so whatever he wants me to do I'll do. He definitely knows best.”

Batson said that he believes he would have had more offers, but most coaches believed he was headed to Clemson.

“Definitely. I was recruited by a lot of different schools but deciding whether they were going to offer or not was, 'He lives in Clemson. He's good enough to play at Clemson, so why would we offer him when we know he's good enough to go to Clemson and his dad is a coach?' Fighting that battle was awful,” he said. “I remember going to Wake Forest and having the best camp of my life and they just couldn't get over the fact that my dad is a coach. They were like, 'Man, you really surprised us. We didn't know you were going to be that good.' If my dad wasn't a coach, I would've gotten more offers, no doubt.”

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