Ben Boulware (6'2 230, 4.7 40), from TL Hanna HS in Anderson, committed to Clemson tonight, primarily over UGA. He had over a dozen offers from around the southeast, and will likely be ranked outside the Top 10 in-state. He's currently rated a 3-star prospect by most of the services. His brother Garrett is a freshman on the baseball team.
I don't have as big a problem with Boulware's film as I do with him being taken here. His film is comparable to BJ Goodson's, so that is not the problem. He's the 3rd LB commitment and I see no reason why Clemson should take a 3rd LB of this caliber, when the other 2 are already projects and we are in the lead group for other better players like Bryant and O'Daniel. Venables has been around the southeast still personally offering LBs too. We have 11 on scholarship (counting Burrell), lose 2 this fall, and could carry 12, but why do we need 12 when we're still going to play so much Nickel? Clemson shouldn't take a 4th LB here unless they project either Greenlee or McDonald to fail to qualify or decommit. While McDonald was somewhat shaky in an interview recently, I don't see him being offered by anyone far better, certainly not FSU or Florida. I think we all know Greenlee isn't decommitting since his dad works for Batson.
Its not like Venables has really had time to fairly evaluate what he has on campus now either, because we've only had a handful of practices thus far, so its not that we intend to take a bunch to run off what we've got now. We're not even through a week of install.
I have spoken to several avid fans of TL Hanna and they are not as impressed with Boulware as a long-termer. While he's exceptionally strong, and is not shy of contact like Goodson, he's put on enough weight that he's noticably slowed on the field. I was shocked UGA officially offered and pursued heavily, especially with what they could get in-state, but consider that they are planning to take 4 ILBs in their class and can reach a little.
Clemson has filled up 5 spots of a 17-18 man class with several players who are not definite upgrades over what is on campus right now. While I like McDonald as a project, I don't see the rest as truly upgrading our talent level to compete with FSU. I just do not understand what Clemson is doing with this class, considering the tighter numbers.
While he is officially listed for Chad Morris, this is more of a Jeff Scott get.