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Ben Boulware, former Clemson football star from Anderson talks about his new path, an instructor at The Junkyard fitness center in Anderson.
Ken Ruinard/Independent Mail

Former Clemson University football star Ben Boulware and his business partner Marcus Brown are “pumped” about their new fitness center called The Junkyard in downtown Anderson.

The business, which is temporarily housed in a former pool hall on North Main Street, will be moving into its permanent home on East Orr Street in May, they said Friday.

The Junkyard will share space with the downtown location of Canela’s Fresh Smoothies and Juices in a building that once served as a Studebaker dealership.

Boulware said The Junkyard will host fitness classes featuring a patented interactive technology that combines uptempo music with video screens. 

“It is kind of like ‘Guitar Hero’ for workouts,” said Boulware, 23. “There is nothing like this in the world.”

Boulware, who is a T.L. Hanna High School graduate, said the business derived its name from his “Junkyard Dawg” nickname at Clemson.

Amid the noise of construction work in the building on Orr Street, Boulware and Brown talked Friday about riding skateboards to work from the apartment that they recently moved into above Raines on Main Bar & Grill.

“We are really buying into the downtown area,” said Brown, 24, who grew up in Clemson and played football at Newberry College.

Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts said The Junkyard will be a welcome addition to downtown Anderson.

“Any business that opens in our central business district is a good thing,” Roberts said.

Roberts said Boulware has a large following and well-known work ethic.

“I know he will give it his best shot,” he said.

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Boulware started 31 games at Clemson and he was the 2016 recipient of the Jack Lambert Trophy honoring the nation’s top collegiate linebacker. He also was named as the most valuable defensive player of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship in which Clemson defeated the University of Alabama.

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After not being selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, Boulware was signed as a free agent by the Carolina Panthers, only to be released a few months later. He was briefly a member of the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad.

Boulware said Friday that he has no immediate plans to play football again.

“The pinnacle of my football career was at Clemson,” he said, adding that he didn’t experience the same “happiness and joy” in the NFL.

Boulware said he and Brown are “just pumped about fitness and staying in shape.”

They both will act as instructors at The Junkyard, along with former North Carolina State University wide receiver Quinton Payton, who also is a graduate T.L. Hanna High.

The business will offer $10 monthly memberships.

Thanks to some support from his former teammates, Boulware said, the number of memberships already sold jumped from 100 to 220 after plans for The Junkyard were announced on social media earlier this week.

Former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, who now plays for the Houston Texans, told his 1.22 million Twitter followers to check out The Junkyard on Monday. The same day, former Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel also promoted the business during an appearance on the NFL Network.

Boulware said The Junkyard will cater to an array of customers from teenagers to those in their 70s.

“Anyone can come,” he said. “Our age range is very wide.”

Follow Kirk Brown on Twitter @KirkBrown_AIM and email him at kirk.brown@independentmail.com

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