Little Old Clemson: Boulware relishes National Championship
|Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 3:16 AM- -|
TAMPA, FL – It wasn’t David versus Goliath.
It was little old Clemson against the college football superpower, the Alabama Crimson Tide. And, just as David defeated the giant, the Tigers are bringing the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy home to South Carolina after defeating Alabama 35-31 Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.
To win the belt and become college football’s number one team, Ben Boulware, and the Tigers knew they would have to beat the best.
“It's huge. We said all week to be the best you've got to beat the best and that's what we did. Alabama has been the standard for a long time in college football,” Boulware said in the locker room after the game. “To wrestle those reins and get that belt back was huge. We've got a bunch of respect for Alabama and as everyone saw tonight it was a battle. We were out there for a reason. To go out there and beat them and really win that game in the trenches was very satisfying for us.
“I love that. I'm super ecstatic that the trophy is coming home to little old Clemson. Alabama has been a powerhouse and has been a dynasty for a long time, but little old Clemson took that belt tonight. I'm super excited for our guys to see all of the hard work pay off.”
Playing on the nation’s biggest stage and winning a national championship is something every high school and college football player dreams of, and Boulware said the feeling standing on the field when the clock hit zero made all of the early morning and late night workouts worth it.
“When you dream to do stuff like this your whole life, I think of just dreaming as a little kid, doing pushing and sit-ups in the seventh and eighth grade and flipping that tire across my front yard, waking up at 5:30 in the morning in high school to go workout, that's what this was for,” Boulware said. “The work that I put in during the eighth grade, the ninth grade and the years up until now has finally paid off. It's pretty satisfying to bring that trophy back home where it truly belongs.”
While the players fought for 60 minutes on the field, Boulware said the win was for everyone back in little old Clemson – the players who came before him, the fans, the students and everyone at the university.
“I would say it's a family. I kind of got overwhelmed and started crying on the sidelines because I felt that way for everybody,” he said. “It's for C.J. Spiller, Stephone Anthony, Tajh Boyd and everybody who built this foundation and didn't have this opportunity. I felt that way for the fans. They've waited 35 years, and we're bringing that trophy home. It's just for my brothers on this team. We' grind day in and day out all year. I think it's for everybody. It's a family - the fans, the university. It's a family.”
Boulware said it was especially satisfying to do it against the recruiting monster with players who are just “blue collar guys.”
“I think we're just a group of blue collar guys that go to work every day and exhaust the moment, embrace the world we've been thrown into,” he said. “We've been grinding since winter workouts and fall camp, spring ball, summer workout. Little old Clemson is a bunch of blue collar dudes that grinded every single day and put in the work to get back on top. To get back on top and bring that trophy back home is very satisfying.”