With Clemson hosting its Orange & White Spring Game Saturday at Death Valley, the Tigers spent a lot of practice getting reps with their respected teams on Wednesday.
The spring game is an opportunity for a lot of players to step up and show a little glimpse of what’s coming from them next season.
One of the players is Isaiah Simmons, who will be looking to show a lot more than most. With him playing both free safety and the nickel/SAM position on Saturday, the redshirt sophomore has the opportunity to prove what he can do.
New to the nickel/SAM position there is a lot more for Simmons to learn as a player. With the change, he has learned a lot from linebacker Jalen Williams, who he has been competing with the position.
“I’ve actually learned a lot from Jalen because of his experience at the position,” Simmons said following Wednesday’s practice behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex. “This is really my first year playing it as my main position so he teaches me a lot of the little things you need to know like techniques and stuff. He teaches the little things you’d only know with experience at the position.”
Not only has Simmons learned from Williams, but he has acknowledged the talent that Williams and himself bring to the Tigers.
“We’re most definitely a good combo I’d say that,” he said. “It’s a very friendly competition as well, we’re both happy to see each other succeed.”
With the change in positions Simmons also sees a difference in the way he plays in coverage now. Going from a positon of picking people up 10 yards off the ball, while moving to a more physical and up front cover style is needed.
“It’s just a different technique that you use,” said Simmons. “At the nickel spot there will be times where I’m seven yards off and there are times where I press. It really depends, but it’s all just the technique.”
Fans will get their first glimpse of Simmons’ move to the nickel/SAM role on Saturday. Like many players, he is looking to impress, but more importantly he is hoping his White team wins the game.
Why? The winner gets Monday off.
“Oh everyone is trying to win because nobody wants to go to that workout Monday,” Simmons said. “Besides, it’s a really good day just to make sure we work on what we need to and see how we perform in a game situation. That’s what it’s really about.”