Clemson football team throws giant tailgate party to watch Deshaun Watson, other former Tigers in NFL debut
CLEMSON — Some 72,000 fans bought tickets for the Carolina Panthers’ preseason matchup with the Houston Texans at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday night — thousands of them filing through the streets of downtown Charlotte to catch a glimpse of football once again.
But the biggest tailgate might have been 135 miles to the south.
From quarterbacks to punters, five questions Clemson faces heading into fall camp
CLEMSON — For months it has been all about speculation and questions.
Thursday marks the beginning of some answers.
Nearly seven months after Clemson’s football team won its second national championship, fall camp officially kicks off this week as the country turns its eyes toward Death Valley to see how the Tigers respond after 2016.
Sapakoff: If not Carolina, former Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware will find an NFL spot
SPARTANBURG – A magnetic force pulled Ben Boulware over to the chest-high black cement wall separating fans from Carolina Panthers players leaving their training camp practice field at Wofford College. Kids waved footballs and Sharpies, grown-ups with Clemson memorabilia, screaming women.
CLEMSON — For months, Ben Boulware has been waiting for a text message from Dabo Swinney containing the details of one final bucket-list moment for the former Clemson linebacker.
“Visiting the White House would be awesome,” Boulware said back in February. “I definitely think that should happen.”
At last, it seems like Boulware’s text should be on the way.
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.
Sapakoff: Deshaun fit, Boulware snub, CCU steal, Muschamp stamp, other NFL draft highlights
The 2017 NFL Draft had Palmetto State sizzle from the first round to the very last pick, former Clemson quarterback Chad “Mr. Irrelevant” Kelly.
Free agency frenzy was more fun than usual, too, starring snubbed Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware vowing to prove people wrong before considering a professional wrestling deal.
CLEMSON — As the NFL Draft turns to the third and final day featuring rounds four through seven, a slew of former Clemson football players are likely to hear their name called Saturday afternoon.
Wide receiver Mike Williams (Round 1, No. 7), quarterback Deshaun Watson (Round 1, No. 12) and cornerback Cordrea Tankersley (Round 3, No. 97) have already landed with the Los Angeles Chargers, Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins, respectively.
On the beat: Seniors get national championship rings, Swinney gets big crowd he asked for
CLEMSON — Ben Boulware started to cry and put his face in his hands while Jadar Johnson comforted him.
Deshaun Watson whipped out his phone to snap a few photos.
Sapakoff: The sun rises and Brent Venables comes up with Clemson answers
CLEMSON - And now for Brent Venables’ next Clemson magic trick.
The wily defensive coordinator will …
Pull an All-Atlantic Coast Conference cornerback out of a hat.
Slice an opponent’s yards-per-carry average in two.
Poof! Turn a decent offense into a frog.
Back at work less than eight weeks removed from Clemson’s 35-31 victory over Alabama in the College Football Playoff national championship game, the 46-year-old father of four was a bit cranky Friday.
As nine Clemson players head to NFL combine, interview process will be equally important as on-field workouts
CLEMSON — Network television and evening highlight reels will show the 40-yard dash times and flashy plays on the field. But off of it, behind closed doors with just 15 minutes to prove themselves, nine Clemson players are poised for the biggest job interviews of their lives this week.
Fans wait in line for seven-plus hours to spend time with Clemson football star Ben Boulware
Wake-up was at 5:30 a.m. so they could make the drive from Florence, snag some breakfast at Cracker Barrel along the way and be in line promptly at 9:36 a.m.
They wanted to be first. Ben Boulware was coming to North Charleston’s Fan Zone shop at 5 p.m. on Saturday to sign some autographs and take some photos — and the Legg family was not going to miss it.
The official NFL Scouting Combine invitation list has been released and, as expected, is littered with Clemson players — nine to be exact.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson, wide receiver Mike Williams, linebacker Ben Boulware, running back Wayne Gallman, safety Jadar Johnson, tight end Jordan Leggett, wide receiver Artavis Scott, cornerback Cordrea Tankersley and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins all got the nod.
A month after they won the national championship, hauled in a slew of on-the-field awards and opened their offseason, four Clemson players were recognized one more, on Tuesday morning.
Junior quarterback Deshaun Watson, senior linebacker Ben Boulware, sophomore defensive end Christian Wilkins and freshman defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence were all named to the Academic All-ACC football team, the conference announced Tuesday.
“Instant Classic” doesn’t do enough justice.
The lofty place in history is as obvious as Ben Boulware’s beard.
Clemson not only won the College Football Playoff national championship on January 9, the Tigers with a 35-31 victory over Alabama in Tampa completed the best college postseason ever with a victory in the best national title game.
He can execute picture-perfect suplexes. He can trash talk with the best of them. And he’s one of the fiercest, most aggressive competitors in the game.
Senior linebacker Ben Boulware may be headed to the NFL Draft, but there’s little question that Clemson’s one-man wrecking crew is a perfect fit for WWE and the world of professional wrestling.
Clemson’s “Big Dex” made an impact earlier than expected
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.
Just go dark? Playoff teams confront Twitter pot shots
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."
There is no place for groin-grabbing in intercollegiate athletics, or intramurals. Playful groping during high-level competition is not what they teach in Leadership 101 classes at Clemson or the Harvard Business School.
Clemson DE Wilkins has apologized for groping Buckeye player
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.
CLEMSON — Ben Boulware first saw the news on ESPN as he caught a glimpse of the television on his way to watch film ahead of next week’s College Football Playoff national championship game.
“That’s weird,” he remembers thinking to himself.
“(But) then I kept walking and went to watch film. Didn’t lose much sleep over it or think about it too much.”
Clemson LB Ben Boulware on Christian Wilkins groping Ohio State player: “Is it really that big of a deal?”
CLEMSON — Clemson defensive end Christian Wilkins has taken quite a bit of heat in the news and around social media for the way he grabbed Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel during the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday night in Arizona.
GLENDALE, Ariz. – It’s not the postgame jabber.
“We want our revenge,” Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware said Saturday night just after a 31-0 drubbing of Ohio State put the Tigers in a College Football Playoff national championship game rematch with Alabama. “We want our redemption. … This year’s team is stronger than last year.”
Washington “was soft,” Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen said on the way to Tampa after a 24-7 Peach Bowl victory over the Huskies.
Postcard from Arizona: Urban Meyer, urban hiking, “sexy” Clemson star Christian Wilkins
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - It happens every Media Day, before a Super Bowl or College Football Playoff game. Things get a little zany after the 1,437th question.
So it probably wasn’t surprising that linebacker Ben Boulware left his designated interview podium in the last few minutes of the Clemson half of Thursday’s Fiesta Bowl Media Day to go sit on teammate Christian Wilkins’ lap.
Leading men: Ohio St’s Elflein, Clemson’s Boulware show way
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.
Clemson defense seeks to maintain dominance after strong first quarters
CLEMSON — The numbers bear out a sneaking suspicion about the Clemson defense: the Tigers come out gangbusters leaving the locker room, but struggle to sustain their world-beating level of play for 60 minutes.
Deshaun Watson finished second again, and Clemson – No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings – did not place a single player on the 2016 Associated Press All-America first team announced Monday.
Watson, the Tigers’ quarterback who finished second in Heisman Trophy voting to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson last week, is the second-team quarterback with Jackson taking first-team honors.
Silver Bluff product and current Clemson defensive back Cordrea Tankersley was one of eight Tigers to be named first-team All-ACC by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association on Monday.
Eighteen Clemson players were honored on one of the three teams or the honorable mention team. The nine first team selections are the most for the program since 1991 when Clemson also had nine. The record is 10 set by the 1978 team that finished with an 11-1 record and a No. 6 final ranking in both polls.
On the Beat: Nine Clemson players make all-ACC, but not some stars
CLEMSON — A conference-high nine Clemson players were awarded first-team all-ACC accolades from voting media Monday, and yet some of the more accomplished Tigers settled for second- or third-team honors.
For the first time in school history, three offensive linemen represent Clemson on the top squad. Center Jay Guillermo and right guard Tyrone Crowder each topped the voting at their respective positions, and left tackle Mitch Hyatt is also a first-teamer.
CLEMSON — The rivalry is fierce among the fanbase, but it’s something of an acquired taste for Clemson or South Carolina players who aren’t from South Carolina.
Sapakoff: Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph won’t be underrated for long
CLEMSON – It should be easy to get noticed standing right in the middle of one of the best defenses in college football. But Clemson middle linebacker Kendall Joseph is surrounded.
He plays next to Ben Boulware, a bearded cartoon character of an All-American candidate known for big, sometimes controversial hits and quick wit.
High-powered ACC has stars on defense, too _ plenty of them
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 LB Boulware won’t change approach vs. Wolfpack
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.
Forgotten Watson? Clemson’s QB lost in Jackson hype
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 linebacker Ben Boulware out with ankle injury
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.