Watson, Boulware to represent Clemson at ACC Football Kickoff

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2016, file photo, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson talks during media day for the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship in Phoenix. The buzz has already begun: Clemson's offense led by quarterback Deshaun Watson could be among the most prolific college football has ever seen. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

CLEMSON — Quarterback Deshaun Watson and linebacker Ben Boulware will join head coach Dabo Swinney in representing Clemson at next week’s ACC Football Kickoff media interviews at the Westin Charlotte.

Both players are making their first appearance at the kickoff. Watson, a third-year junior who is set to graduate in December, is the Tigers’ first non-senior under Swinney originally selected to participate in the league’s preseason meetings. (Former center Dalton Freeman was a last-minute substitution as a junior in 2011.)

Watson should be one of the most sought-after players at preseason media days, coming off an All-American campaign in which he surpassed 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting while leading Clemson to the College Football Playoff national championship game. He enters his second season as the Tigers’ starting quarterback, for an offense with eight returning starters but just two seniors projected in the starting lineup.

Boulware emerged last year as one of the team’s primary spokesmen, and is one of two seniors in the Tigers’ defensive starting lineup. Boulware was a first-team all-ACC pick who made 138 tackles in 2015.

Watson is on the Maxwell Award preseason watch list tracking the nation’s top players, and Boulware is on the Bednarik Award preseason watck list tracking the nation’s top defenders.

Clemson’s turn at the two-day media event takes place Friday, July 22 along with the other Atlantic Division teams. The Coastal Division programs go Thursday, July 21.

Other notable names of players attending the ACC Football Kickoff are Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson and Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya.