All aboard

CLEMSON - One would have to imagine that the conductor of the Ben Boulware bandwagon felt pretty good about today's news.

It is official: Ben Boulware will play this fall.

A certain publisher at a certain website that's affiliated with Scout.com probably patted himself on the back when Dabo Swinney told reporters on Monday morning that Boulware will not take a redshirt in 2013.

"Do we have to have him at linebacker? Probably not, but he's been incredibly impressive for a freshman, coming in and learning," Swinney said. "He doesn't make a lot of mistakes, for one."

A four-star prospect coming out of T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, Boulware had quite a prep career. He finished with 592 total tackles, 28 of which were tackles for loss, six interceptions, 12 caused fumbles, three recovered fumbles and 10 pass breakups during his four-year career.

Boulware also returned 17 kickoff returns for 364 yards. This fall, that's where he could have his biggest impact -- on special teams.

But he won't be returning any kicks at Clemson. Boulware will be blocking and tackling, lots of tackling.

"He changes our team on special teams. He's not just another guy on special teams. He is a difference maker. I just think he helps us win," Swinney said.

On defense, Boulware is working at middle linebacker behind Stephone Anthony.

"We don't have huge numbers. We have some good players at linebacker, but all of a sudden you get one guy banged up or nicked up, you get thin quick," Swinney said. "[Boulware's] a guy that definitely will play, barring in any setbacks or anything like that."

Swinney called Boulware "the ultimate football player."

"He doesn't flinch. He's just very confident for a young player. He doesn't act like a freshman," Swinney said. "He really handles himself like he's been around here for three or four years.

"He makes our team better, for sure."

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