Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons was all smiles after Thursday night’s 52-14 win over fellow ACC opponent Georgia Tech. The redshirt junior out of Olathe, Kansas, put on quite the show for Clemson fans, finishing the game with 10 tackles and doing his part to help the young defense put together a solid performance.
With the D-line being a whole new scene from just a year ago, the Tiger defense has a lot to prove, but Simmons says they are more than ready to step up to the challenge.
Simmons on handling the unknown challenges of Georgia Tech
“It was a pretty fun challenge because we were watching film on other schools like Temple — their coaches came from Temple — and watching film on Boise State because their special teams coach [Jeff Popovich] is from Boise State. It was just fun because we really didn’t know what their players would be like in that kind of offense, so just getting in the game, learning everything and seeing what they did that was new and what we had seen, it was just really fun.”
Simmons on game atmosphere and nerves
“I don’t want to say that I’m used to the atmosphere, but it’s always so cool how great our fans are. We have to have the best fans in the nation, they show up to everything. Once you get to the top of that hill, the nerves just go through your whole body and I feel like that’s just with everybody though. It was just nice to get back in this environment and feel all the love that surrounds us.”
Simmons on Trevor Lawrence’s tackle preventing touchdown
“I don’t really remember him hitting him that hard. He’s gotten a lot bigger and is pretty fast, so I’m not surprised that he hit him like that. It just shows what kind of guy he is, his character and how much he loves the game. There’s a lot of quarterbacks that would have just let him go in for the walking touchdown, but he gave everything he could just to give us another chance.”
Simmons on how defense came together and responded after interception to the 2-yard line
“We prepare for situations like that all the time. It’s not very often that they do come about, so when it did, it was like ‘OK fellas, it’s time to stand ten toes down and just handle what we have to handle.’ I was proud of our guys just because all of that starts in the trenches with the D-line and the linebackers, and that’s where we’ve had our biggest ‘void’ as people call it.”
Simmons on having more time to recover for Texas A&M
“I’m really locked in this season, so I’ll rest my body, but (Friday) I’ll probably be up in the film room just trying to get ahead.”
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