Simmons will run down the hill with senior class on Saturday

Simmons will run down the hill with senior class on Saturday

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Simmons will run down the hill with senior class on Saturday

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Following Clemson’s win over Wofford on Nov. 2, Isaiah Simmons would not say for sure if Saturday’s home finale against Wake Forest would be his last, but it looks like it might be.

Simmons, a redshirt junior, is listed as one of 19 players who will be honored as a senior as Clemson celebrates Senior Day prior to its 3:30 p.m., kickoff at Memorial Stadium. Simmons is scheduled to graduate in December, so head coach Dabo Swinney is allowing him to run down the hill with the rest of the senior class.

Swinney has done this in the past with players who have graduated or scheduled to graduate at the end of the season, players such as Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, Wayne Gallman and Christian Wilkins.

Wilkins is the only player in the group to run down the hill during his third season but still come back for his fourth year.

“I kind of thought about it today,” Simmons said about the Wake Forest game possibly being his last at Death Valley. “It is kind of sad. Time has gone by so quickly. I just remember being a freshman and now here I am, and this could possibly be my last game in the Valley.

“I have just been making sure that I am enjoying every moment this year based on whatever happens at the end of the year. Yeah, it is kind of sad to think about it.”

Though Simmons is likely to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, Travis Etienne said Monday he has not made up his mind and he has not really thought about the fact Saturday could be his last trip down the hill.

“Honestly, I don’t know. I have not been really thinking about much after this season,” he said. “Just trying to focus on each game. But I mean, it is crazy to think I could be in that position, but I just have to sit down with my family and see what is the best option for me and my family going forward.”

As for the seniors, they will run down the hill with one of the best marks in school history to this point, with an opportunity to leave Clemson as the all-time winningest class depending how the season goes. Right now, they hold a 51-3 overall record in the last four years, one of only five senior classes in FBS history to post at least 51 career wins in four years. They will become the second senior class in conference history to play in four consecutive ACC Championship games, and with a win in Charlotte, could become the second class in conference history to win four ACC titles outright, joining Clemson’s 2018 class.

They are also attempting to become Clemson’s second straight senior class to earn four consecutive College Football Playoff berths during their careers. They have won 43 games against Power Five conference opponents since 2016, the most in the country.

The 2019 seniors have been ranked in the AP Top 10 in every poll of their careers, one of only two senior classes in the country able to make that claim. That includes a streak of 34 consecutive appearances in the Top 5 since 2017, the longest streak in school history.

They are 26-1 in Death Valley, one victory away from tying the 2017 and 2018 Clemson seniors for the most career wins at Memorial Stadium. They hold a 29-2 record in ACC regular season play and a 32-2 overall record against ACC opponents.

A 30th ACC regular season win this week would tie the school record and conclude the seniors’ regular season ACC careers one win shy of the all-time conference record of 31. They can finish 23-1 in ACC Atlantic division play with a win on Saturday.

The class has already posted 4-0 marks against four of their six Atlantic division foes (Boston College, Florida State, Louisville and NC State) and can add Wake Forest to that list with a victory Saturday.

SENIOR DAY HONOREES

Included below is the list of players who will be honored on Senior Day this week. This includes academic seniors who may potentially elect to forego their final year of athletic eligibility (e.g.: Christian Wilkins in 2017 prior to returning for 2018)

No. Player Hometown Career GP/GS

  • 73 OL Tremayne Anchrum 2 Powder Springs, Ga. 50/32
  • 87 TE J.L. Banks Madison, Ga. 5/0^
  • 59 OL Gage Cervenka 1 Greenwood, S.C. 41/18
  • 9 CB Brian Dawkins Jr. Parker, Colo. 7/0
  • ** OL Zach Giella 1 Lincolnton, Ga. 20/0
  • 83 WR Carter Groomes 2 Central, S.C. 14/0
  • 48 LB Landon Holden Inman, S.C. 4/0
  • 14 S Denzel Johnson 2 Columbia, S.C 49/0
  • 19 S Tanner Muse 1 Belmont, N.C. 54/34
  • 14 WR Diondre Overton 1,3 Greensboro, N.C. 46/4
  • 58 LS Patrick Phibbs Pittsburgh, Pa. 39/0
  • 76 OL Sean Pollard 2 Jackson Springs, N.C. 50/33
  • 78 OL Chandler Reeves 2 McDonough, Ga. 24/0
  • 98 P/PK Steven Sawicki 2 Fayetteville, N.C. 9/0
  • 11 LB Isaiah Simmons 2 Olathe, Kan. 39/24
  • 74 OL John Simpson 2 North Charleston, S.C. 45/24
  • 43 LB Chad Smith 1,3 Sterling, Va. 53/10
  • 37 RB Tyler Traynham 4 Spartanburg, S.C. 2/0^
  • 12 S K’Von Wallace 2 Richmond, Va. 54/31

Note: **Four-year team member ruled ineligible to play in 2019 by NCAA ^Does not include GP/GS prior to arrival at Clemson 1 Graduate; 2 Expected December Graduate; 3 Pursuing Master’s Degree; 4 Earned undergraduate degree at Wofford College

–Clemson Athletic Communications contributed to this story

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