The commitment: MLB Ben Boulware, T.L. Hanna HS [Anderson]
Date committed: March 28, 2012
Ranked: Four-star, No. 13 MLB
Other options: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Stanford
Position status: Halfway through last season, Spencer Shuey was moved into the starting middle linebacker job in place of Stephone Anthony. Shuey took the promotion and ran with it. Assuming he holds on to the job in 2013, there will be plenty of options behind him. If he doesn't move to the outside, Anthony could man the No. 2. Coming off a redshirt year, Justin Parker is a possibility in the middle, as is Oklahoma transfer Kellen Jones.
The evaluation: While not lightning-fast for a linebacker, Boulware has good speed, great recognition, and outstanding initial burst to the ball. His short-area quickness is probably the best and most exciting part of his game, as his quick feet…knee bend enables him to mirror running backs and eliminate cut back lanes while in pursuit. In college, that ability should make Boulware a great open-field tackler against the more elusive scat backs and wide receivers. His pursuit angles to the ball are also noteworthy and are conducive to preventing big plays. When he reaches the ball carrier, Boulware delivers a nice pop and displays good form when tackling in tight spaces. - Gary Cobb, Jr., thebootleg.com
Estimated impact: 2015. With Shuey looking like the man in the middle again this fall -- coupled with the amount of veteran linebacker talent already on the roster -- there's no need to rush Boulware onto the field. Boulware's path to playing time could be blocked by a couple of older players already on the Clemson roster.
Commitment capsule: Boulware
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