No matter what venue he plays in, Ben Boulware likes to take a causal jog down the sideline and back before each game. And of course on road trips, it means the opposing team’s student section is going to throw a few kind words towards him as he makes his way to that end of the stadium.
That was, of course, the case prior to Saturday’s win at Florida State.
“Their student section was giving it to me. Which it’s football so I don’t care,” the Clemson linebacker said on Monday. “It was funny.”
However funny it was, Boulware did not forget about it, so when he sacked quarterback Deondre Francois to seal No. 3 Clemson’s first win in Tallahassee, Florida in 10 years, he turned toward the student-section and used his two thumbs to point to his last name on the back of his jersey.
“When I sacked him, I wanted to let them know who did it,” Boulware said.
It’s not just the gestures and the rude comments at the games, but Boulware is also prodded on social media platforms such as Twitter. It’s not uncommon for fan bases to attack the Tigers’ star linebacker by sending him rude comments throughout the week.
“I don’t take it to heart, it is football,” he said. “People are just so soft about stuff. It’s funny so I don’t care. So when I sacked him, I wanted to let them know who did it.”
Boulware has embraced his role as the villain, even though he does not know exactly why that’s the case.
“I’m not very liked … I think it is funny,” he said. “I think a lot of fans, and I don’t meant this to be arrogant, but I think a lot of fans respect my game, but they are like, ‘I don’t like that kid. I want him to play like crap.’
“I think it is college football. They have to find somebody not to like and I’m that guy so I’m glad to take that role.”
Boulware isn’t sure why he is not liked. Maybe it is because of the way he celebrates or maybe it’s his tweeter antics when he does a little trash talking himself during the off-season.
“I don’t really know honestly, but I’m that guy,” he said.
But Boulware does not forget who is trolling him through social media. Once the mandatory no social media ban is lifted when the season is complete, he goes back and he finds those who were hating on him and he puts them in their place.
“I have a good memory,” he said.
The Florida State student section discovered that on Saturday.