The NFL preseason is only a couple weeks away, and with it comes a big opportunity for former Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware.
Boulware hopes he will be on the field and have a chance in Week 1 of the preseason to get a hit on former Tigers teammate Deshaun Watson when Watson’s Houston Texans face the Panthers.
“I couldn’t even breathe on him when he was at Clemson,” Boulware said to media at camp on Wednesday. “There are no rules and there are no boundaries now, so hopefully I will get to go in while he is in there and I will get a good shot on him.
“I will give him a big hug and a kiss afterward. If the opportunity presents itself, I will definitely try to hit him.”
Panthers LB Ben Boulware on potentially facing former Clemson teammate DeShaun Watson in Week 1 (if he makes the team of course). pic.twitter.com/RDVfez6UXK
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) July 26, 2017
Boulware is trying to make the Carolina roster as an undrafted free agent after an impressive career as a linebacker at Clemson. He and Watson, who was the first-round pick for the Texans, were crucial pieces of Clemson’s back-to-back College Football Playoff teams. The Tigers won the national title last season.
But they soon could be on opposite sides, potentially leaving Boulware with an opportunity he never had at Clemson.
“I saw where he was saying the other day that if I was blitzing, he would slide the protection,” Boulware said. “I thought it was kind of funny. He knows all my tendencies; we played together for three years.
“If I’m blitzing, he probably knows where I’m coming. Or he’ll juke me. He’s a pretty athletic guy. If the opportunity presents itself, I will try my best. I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but I’ll try to get a good lick on him.”