The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s summer depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Isaiah Simmons (6-3, 220)
Player position: Strong safety (second team)
Years left of eligibility: 4 years
Current rank on depth chart: Second team
Player productivity so far: Simmons was redshirted in 2016.
What player does best: At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Simmons has the size to be a physical safety that can come up and stop the run. He also has good hands and can go up and get the football. He played wide receiver in high school as well where he caught 29 passes for 994 yards, an average of 34.3 yards per catch.
What player needs to work on: Simmons is still learning what it is like to be a college safety. Though he is physical and extremely athletic, he is still learning his assignments and trusting what his eyes are telling him.
Productivity of former or current Clemson players at the position:
Van Smith, 2016: He finished third on the team with 114 tackles. He also had five tackles for loss and two pass breakups and one quarterback pressure. He also had two interceptions, including an 86-yard return against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. It was the longest return of the season for the Tigers.
T.J. Green, 2015. He finished third on the team with 130 tackles, five tackles for a loss and one sack. He also had three quarterback pressures and broke up three passes.
Robert Smith, 2013: He finished fourth on the team with 79 tackles, including two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and one sack. He also broke up five passes and had one interception.
Robert Smith, 2014: He finished second on the team with 80 tackles and had 2.5 tackles for loss. He was also credited for breaking up one pass.
Rashaad Hall, 2011: He led the team with 89 tackles. He also had three tackles behind the line of scrimmage, one sack and broke up one pass. Hall was also credited with two interceptions.
Rashaad Hall, 2012: He finished third on the team with 85 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss. He also broke up four passes, while leading the Tigers with four interceptions.
What can you hope for? Simmons still has a lot to learn, but he made significant progress in the spring. The coaches feel he has an opportunity to be a very good safety and will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job at strong safety in camp.
What is a realistic expectation? Simmons is a playmaker. He recorded one of the defense’s three interceptions in the spring game. It is not crazy to think he will play some kind of role on this year’s squad, nor is it crazy to think he will have his share of big plays in the process.
What about the future? Look for Simmons to be in the mix at safety for a long time. Like K’Von Wallace, he is very athletic, and like Muse he can be very physical. He has great instincts to the football.
–Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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