Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek four-star athlete Trenton Simpson has seen his recruitment really take off since the calendar turned to 2019, with offers coming in this year from Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia Tech among others.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound prospect played both ways for Mallard Creek last season and said he is being recruited by most schools as an athlete that would either be a running back or linebacker depending on how his frame fills out.
Clemson is among the schools that likes Simpson as a linebacker, and he told The Clemson Insider recently that he has been in contact with defensive coordinator Brent Venables as well as area recruiter Danny Pearman.
“He said he likes my size and how I can play,” Simpson said of Venables. “My first year ever playing linebacker was my junior year in high school – I played both sides of the ball – so he said he would love to see me develop a little bit more, and that comes with time and game and practice reps. So, I know that once I get those reps in and come to camp and work with him a little bit, I know he’ll definitely see my talents and see what he can work with.”
Simpson was invited to attend Clemson’s upcoming junior day but won’t be able to make it due to a conflict in his schedule. However, he does intend to visit sometime this spring.
“I definitely look forward to getting to Clemson,” Simpson said. “They sent me a junior day invite on March 9, but unfortunately I won’t be able to make it because that’s the day I take my SAT. So, I’ve talked to the coaches, and we’re looking forward to rescheduling something and I’ll get back up there soon.”
Simpson has been on Clemson’s campus several times in the past, most recently for the Dabo Swinney Camp his ninth-grade year, and he has a connection to former Clemson defensive end Corey Crawford.
“I actually grew up with Corey Crawford. I grew up with him from Columbus, Georgia, before I moved to North Carolina,” Simpson said. “He was my counselor at the YMCA when I was younger, so I would always come and hang out with him, and he was like a big brother to me.
“So, I’ve always followed him and always came up to watch the spring games. They molded him into a great person, so I know that the place is genuine and they’re going to benefit you as a man and not just on the football field. So, I know a lot about Clemson and about how it’s just a culture there that you’ve got to live up to.”
Simpson has made the rounds this offseason, visiting Duke, Georgia, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wake Forest. He plans to make more visits this spring and summer and would like to commit before his senior season begins.
“My goal was to make my decision before my senior year,” said Simpson, who intends to narrow down his recruitment soon. “But with my recruitment starting to blow up a little bit, I still have to go feel places and take a couple official visits this spring that’s a little bit further away. So, right now, I’m thinking before my first game. But I just have to speak with my family, and we’ll figure out what best works for me and when I should make that decision.”
Clemson would be a major factor in Simpson’s recruitment should it pull the trigger on an offer.
“That’s a top school for me. It’s close to home. I love everything about Clemson,” Simpson said. “So, just getting up there and getting a chance to meet coach Swinney again as a prospect and just getting a feel of it, that would definitely be awesome.”
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