One of the best athletes to ever compete at T.L. Hanna HIgh School made his ascent to the next level official on National Signing Day.
Linebacker Ben Boulware, a prep All-American, inked a National Letters of Intent with Clemson football Wednesday in a ceremony in the Hanna gymnasium.
"I’ve been dreaming of this day my whole life. I’m a Clemson fan since I was born, my whole family has been going there forever," said Boulware, who ultimately chose the Tigers over Georgia after Brent Venables was hired as defensive coordinator last year.
Boulware joins a long line of recent Hanna Division I football recruits that include Clemson’s Martavis Bryant and Jake Nicolopulos, Tennessee’s Justin Meredith, East Carolina’s Glenn Hilliard and Wofford’s Will Gay. After getting early playing time his freshman season when Nicolopulos was injured, Boulware, a four-star recruit ranked No. 3 among inside linebackers in the country by ESPN, went on to rack up just short of 600 tackles and earn defensive MVP honors in the Shrine Bowl and was a game captain in the Under Armour All-American game.
"It’s amazing how a kid — even at a young age — can kind of set the tempo for a team," Hanna coach Kenya Fouch said. "He’s always done that. He’s always played to his own tempo. He never thought of himself as a young guy early. He always saw himself as a leader."
A throwback-type player with great instincts and a heavy hitter, Boulware thinks he and a recruiting class that includes former Daniel defensive end Shaq Lawson, Daniel linebacker Deleetric Greenlee and top recruits Ebenezer Ogundeko, Dorian O’Daniel and Mackensie Alexander can turn around a Clemson defense that has been much-maligned over the last few seasons.
"Hopefully, the guys coming can bring something more physical to the table," Boulware said. "They played pretty well against LSU (in the Chick-fil-A Bowl). With us playing the next four years we should have a good team the next four years."