SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson turned on the film to watch Clemson’s defense, it did not take long for him to notice Isaiah Simmons.
“Here is a guy that can come off the edge like a defensive end and then you see him running down the seem covering the fastest receiver in the middle of the field,” Wilson said. “He has range, he has lift, he is great in space and Brent (Venables) does a great job bringing him with his pressures. He will use him in certain situations, almost like a hybrid rusher. He is a guy that sometimes they will spy and have eyes on the quarterback.
“He does a lot of jobs. I am sure there are guys that are ‘faster.’ And I am sure there are some guys that are probably bigger and stronger, but the combination of length, size and speed, that is an unusual guy.”
This season, Simmons was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year and the winner of the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker. He led the Tigers with 93 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He also had two interceptions, seven passes broken up and 14 quarterback pressures.
“What I think is pretty neat is how Brent (Venables) in his mind kind of created a position for him and played to his skill set, which is pretty unique,” Wilson said.
Clemson is back in the College Football Playoffs once again. Get the latest official Clemson CFP gear right here!