CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ben Boulware has a message for NFL teams: You made a mistake.
The linebacker who was the heart and soul — as well as the leading tackler — for the national champion Clemson Tigers defense last season has plenty of motivation after going undrafted.
"I'm in the business of proving people wrong, so I'm looking forward to doing that," Boulware said.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Few at Clemson knew what to make of massive defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence when he stepped on campus last January.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell saw an undisciplined high schooler he nicknamed "X-Box 360" because of his starting weight. Linebacker Ben Boulware saw a "cuddly Teddy Bear," an unassuming, giggly kid with a permanent smile on his face.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney saw a 6-foot-5, 340-pound, ready-to-go run stopper to plug into the Tigers defense.
Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware is the team's top tackler and a lightning rod for criticism on Twitter. Some of the tweets cuss him out, others he laughs off.
But one was way out of line: His father had to contact the police after one person picked on Boulware's little sister.
"Is it really that serious? You have to find my little sister and say something to her?" Boulware said. "It's football. Sorry that I ruined your day so much, that I tackled your quarterback too hard. It's ridiculous."
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson defensive end Christian Wilkins has apologized for groping receiver Curtis Samuel during the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night.
Wilkins said Wednesday he had talked with Samuel after the game and that everything was all right between them. Wilkins, a sophomore defensive end, was seen on video grabbing Samuel's rear and reaching his hand between the receiver's legs while Samuel was on the ground after teammates had tackled him in the Tigers' 31-0 victory.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Coaches often talk about how the best teams have players who take ownership and convey their messages as well as they do.
When Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware decided that Syracuse's Dontae Strickland had gone far enough, his WWE-style takedown raised some eyebrows and lit up social media.
Boulware just shrugged when questioned about the bone-jarring tackle during Saturday's game, which the Tigers won 54-0.
"It's football. I'm trying to get him down," the senior said. "The way I tackled him, people are going to freak out, but he's trying to get extra yards. I'm trying to not let him get extra yards."
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Ben Boulware said he is tired of his intensity being mislabled as dirty.
The Clemson linebacker promises not to ease up when the third-ranked Tigers (6-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) take on North Carolina State (4-1, 1-0) on Saturday.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — No. 3 Louisville and quarterback Lamar Jackson have done the improbable — turned Clemson passer Deshaun Watson into an afterthought this weekend.
Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware feels it and believes Watson will be more than ready when the Cardinals (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) face No. 5 Clemson (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday night.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson starting linebacker Ben Boulware will miss the Tigers' game Saturday because of a right ankle injury.
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday that the 6-foot, 235-pound senior wanted to play against FCS opponent South Carolina State next week. Swinney decided it was better to give him the extra time to heal.