Since being redshirted his freshman year, Isiah Simmons has nudged himself into a starting role on Clemson’s defense. Now a redshirt sophomore with game-time experience, Simmons is eager to show what he can do as a starter as the SAM/nickel back position.
After some time over the past couple seasons Simmons is starting to get a lot more comfortable in his position amongst the linebackers. Although he still gets his work at safety, SAM is where he will play the most.
“I’ve been working mostly at the nickel-linebacker,” said the redshirt sophomore. “I’ve made sure I’ve kept up with my safety work too.”
The Clemson defense has consistently been one of the strongest in the nation under defensive coordinator Brent Venables. As the case every year each defense has things to work on. Over fall camp Simmons believes the defense got better.
“I think everybody has the same vision and the same focus,” he said. “Everyone is just on the same page. We’re all striving for something great.”
With all the work being put into his newest position, former teammate, now Kansas City Chief linebacker, Dorian O’Daniel has helped Simmons a lot with the transition.
“He has given me some tips and some pointers on my positioning and helped me with my overall comfort in the position,” Simmons said.
As Clemson’s prestige has increased of course the young talent that comes along with it has also increased.
“I mean Justyn Ross has caught my eye of course,” said Simmons. “As well as Lyn-J Dixon, but Justyn, he’s going to be a big problem. That catch he had on ESPN went viral.”
With fall camp now over, it is time for Clemson to start prepping for its season-opener against Furman next Saturday at Death Valley.
“We get to enjoy a normal life a little bit more,” said Simmons. “But then again you’ve got to work on balancing your school life and personal life, as well as football. It is still a little bit of a struggle, but it is what it is.”