RB Ben Axon
Florida native Ben Axon knew where he wanted to go to college for quite some time, he just wasn't ready to tell anybody.
Axon gave his verbal commitment to the Clemson coaching staff in a phone call Tuesday afternoon, even though he made up his mind weeks ago.
"Coach Scott and Coach Powell have always supported me through thick and thin. I know I can talk to them anytime I need to and they always treat me like family," he told CUTigers.com after making his decision. "I knew I wanted to go to Clemson for a long time, so I finally decided to end the recruiting game today.
"I knew I was going to end up there. I've been there three times and it just felt like home every time and I was ready to get this all over with."
Axon, who is currently ranked as the No. 57 running back in the nation according to Scout.com, finished his junior year with with over 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.
He is also the second running back to have verbally committed to the Tigers in the class of 2009. Clemson also has secured the commitment of the No. 1 running back in South Carolina in Sumter's Rod McDowell.
The Tigers are expected to take at least two running backs in the 2009 class.
Axon chose Clemson over offers from Florida State, Illinois, West Virginia, South Carolina and a host of other schools.
"South Carolina was No. 2 on my list and then probably Florida and West Virginia were after that," he said. "But there's no changing my mind or anything now. I'm totally firm. I know what I want so I'm not taking anymore visits or anything like that. It's done."
On the field, Axon brings a nice combination of size (6-1,195) and speed (4.5 in the 40-yard dash) to the table.
"I'm a guy that gets better as the game goes on," he said. "Like James Davis. I'm usually the strongest guy on the field and my coaches know I get better as the game goes on. I always end up wearing down defenses.
"I need to work on my pass blocking before I get up there though. It's easy to say and harder to do but I know I need to improve there and really work on my technique. I can do everything else."
Axon has also been following the Tigers closely in recent years.
"I've done a lot of research on the internet," he said. "Believe me, I know James Davis is a helluva running back. I've seen him on YouTube and everywhere else. He reminds me of myself.
"And then C.J. Spiller - he is a home run hitter. I know James is gone after this season, but even if C.J. comes back, I don't mind. I know if I work my butt off good things are going to come to me and that's exactly what I plan on doing."
The Clemson Tigers have added another verbal commitment in the 2009 recruiting class, and not surprisingly he's a running back from the sunshine state.
The Clemson Tigers have added another verbal commitment in the 2009 recruiting class.