See ball, get ball

CLEMSON - Sophomore linebacker Ben Boulware is a man on a mission.

His intensity level is unrivaled.

His passion for the game is unmatched.

And those are just two of the reasons he should see significant playing time this year for one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's top defenses.

"If you want to be a successful linebacker you you have to have a different mentality. It's gotta be 'see ball get ball,' he tells CUTigers.

That mentality served him well a year ago, when he recorded 25 total tackles in 11 games, including seven stops on special teams.

What's in store for him this season? Here's a quick glimpse into the mind of Ben Boulware after Tuesday's practice session:

Does it feel like you are ready to be main contributor for this defense this season? It a different camp for this time around?
Boulware: The main difference between this year and last is that I was learning so much so quick last year. I feel like I have a lot more knowledge now. I can play the game much more fast. Much more physical. I can play with more confidence because I know so much more.

Was it humbling to be a star in high school and then to come here to Clemson knowing you'd have to wait your turn?
Boulware: It's definitely a humbling experience. Most guys make that transition and they are a backup. You have to do your time. I did mine last year. But I learned a lot of things and gained a lot of knowledge to prepare myself for this year.

How good can this defense be?
Boulware: There's a lot of potential with this defense but nothing really matters until you get out there on the field and actually prove it. There's a lot of talk. There's a lot of buzz. There's definitely a lot of potential.

You are on the second team right now but how much do you think you can contribute this year?
Boulware: That's up to Coach V. I don't know. I'm going to come out here everyday and work my butt off. It comes down whatever Coach V and Coach Swinney decide.

Sounded like you turned some heads at the scrimmage Saturday the way you were throwing yourself around. Is that your mentality right now to be a wild man out there on the field?
Boulware: If you want to be a successful linebacker you you have to have a different mentality. It's gotta be 'see ball get ball.' So that fits me pretty well. If you want to play well at this level you have to have that mentality.

Do you ever feel like you have to dial it down at all out there just to be on the safe side? I've heard how you like to get after people on the practice fields.
Boulware: Coach Swinney wants to me to dial it down sometimes. I'm learning. It's hard though. It's hard. Top Stories