Baby Bosworth? Clemson’s Ben Boulware goes beardless

Baby Bosworth? Clemson’s Ben Boulware goes beardless


Baby Bosworth? Clemson’s Ben Boulware goes beardless


Freshly shaved Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware (10) during practice Monday, August 10, 2015.

Freshly shaved Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware (10) during practice Monday, August 10, 2015.

CLEMSON – Yes, Ben Boulware is beardless.

The transformation unfolded late Sunday night, as the Clemson football player contemplated life and facial hair and other important issues while staring into his bathroom mirror.

Then, with a few clipper snips here and there and several well-placed strokes with a razor blade, Boulware went from Master Roshi to Mister Rogers.

“I look like a little 12-year-old,” Boulware said.

Well, as much as a 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker known for delivering de-cleating hits and creating colossal collisions can resemble a 12-year-old.

But Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables apparently agreed with Boulware’s self-assessment. When he saw Boulware for the first time on Monday morning, he did a double take.

“I’m like, ‘Who’s this little boy sitting in the meeting here?’ ” Venables said. “It was very weird. I’m not sure what’s behind that, so you’ll have to ask him.

“He looks a little more clean-cut, and I guess that’s one less hair strand that the opponent has to grab and hold.”

So what impression did Boulware’s new look make on Venables?

“He looks like a little baby Brian Bosworth,” said Venables, referring to the former Oklahoma All-American linebacker.

“I’ll take that,” Boulware said. “He was a legend. Comparing me to Bosworth is a compliment.”

But Boulware, the former T.L. Hanna High standout who is expected to move into a starting role at middle linebacker this fall, said the beard had reached the point of being “annoying.”

“I couldn’t breathe, and it was hot under my helmet,” Boulware said. “I had to hold my beard down to brush my teeth. At that point, it was time to go.”

Other than owing his brother $100 for losing a bet that he would maintain the beard throughout the season, Boulware doesn’t regret his late-night date with the clippers.

“I’ve been going six months looking ugly as crap,” he said. “I looked disgusting and it took a toll on me.”

So, too, did his teammates.

Senior offensive lineman Eric Mac Lain – one of the leaders of the team’s renowned “Beard Gang” – seemed intent on revoking Boulware’s membership Monday afternoon as the Tigers embarked on their first day of two-a-day practices.

“I crumbled, and lost my manhood,” Boulware said. “I have stepped down as CEO of the Beard Gang.”

The recently launched Twitter account devoted to Boulware’s beard also may have taken a hit, but perhaps not for long.

Regrowth looms as a distinct possible, particularly as the weather cools.

“If I don’t shave ‘til the end of the season, I’ll be right back where I was,” Boulware said.

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