Clemson All-American linebacker Isaiah Simmons finally made his draft declaration official Saturday evening on Twitter.
As everyone has known since the start of the 2019 season, Simmons officially announced his declaration for the 2020 NFL Draft. Simmons had told the Clemson media prior to the season starting that the 2019 season was his last at Clemson.
Though Simmons made his announcement publicly the day after underclassmen had to declare for the draft, he had already declared privately prior to Friday’s deadline.
The Butkus Award winner, as the nation’s top linebacker, wrote on Twitter, “Take a chance, because you never know how perfect something can turn out.”
He then followed it up with a message to the Clemson Family.
“In my time at Clemson, I was blessed to be a part of two national championship teams, and became the first Tiger to win the Butkus Award,” Simmons wrote. “However, my proudest achievement was not as an athlete, but rather as a student. Last month, I walked across the stage to receiver my academic degree, officially becoming a graduate of Clemson University. To God be the glory.”
Simmons led the Tigers with 102 tackles this past season. He had a team-high 16 tackles for loss and a team best eight sacks from his linebacker position. He also had three interceptions, broke up eight passes overall and had 14 quarterback pressures.
Because he could play linebacker, safety, nickel back, rush end and cornerback, he was considered the most versatile defensive player in college football. Simmons helped lead the Tigers back to the national championship game for a second straight season.
In 2019, Clemson led the nation in total defense, scoring defense and passing defense for much of the year. The Tigers held every regular season opponent this past year under 300 yards of total offense, the first time any defense has done that in the BCS/CFP era in college football.
The Tigers finished the season ranked third nationally in scoring defense (13.7 pts./game), fourth in passing defense (172.3 yds./game) and sixth in total defense (288.3 yds./game).
Simmons ends his Clemson career with 248 career tackles, 10.5 sacks, 28.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions and 16 quarterback pressures. He also had 20 career passes broken up.
“It’s time for me to take the next step in my journey,” he wrote. “Today, it is with great humility and gratitude that I announce that I will be declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft. While I am incredibly excited about the opportunities and challenges that await me, please know that a part of me will always remain here in Clemson, South Carolina.”
The 2020 NFL Draft will be held in April.
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