The one thing Isaiah Simmons likes about his new position at nickel / SAM is the freedom he has.
Simmons, who moved to the nickel / SAM spot in the spring, is free to move around more and freelance a little whereas in his old free safety position he had to stick to the coverages and try not to get out of position.
Simmons also likes the fact he can blitz more in his new role than he did a year ago.
“There is a lot more freedom than there is at safety,” the redshirt sophomore said. “At safety, it is like, ‘this where you have to be.’ In nickel you are playing the gray area a lot more and you are able to move more freely.
“I get to blitz a lot. At safety, you don’t get to blitz very much and I like to blitz a lot.”
Last year, while playing free safety, Simmons had three tackles for loss to go with his 49 overall in the 12 games he was able to play in.
“I came from free safety, which is the other side of the field,” he said. “But I also learned the strong safety (spot) so it is kind of telling me were the help is. It lets me know who is going to be where, at what time and in what plays.”
Simmons said he learned a lot about his new position thanks to the help of Jalen Williams, whom he is battling for the starting job. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound hybrid linebacker / safety says Williams has been great in teaching him techniques and teaching him the main parts of the position.
“I have learned a lot from Jalen,” Simmons said. “He has a lot of experience at the position and this is only my first year playing it as my main position. He teaches me a lot of the little things that I should know like the techniques I should you opposed to another one, just really small things that you would not know unless you had experience playing there.
“It is a very fulfilling competition as well. We are just both happy to see each other succeed. I want him to succeed and he wants me to succeed so therefore we are both helping each other.”
Clemson will begin summer workouts next week and fall camp will start in August.