For those people saying Isaiah Simmons is too versatile, Dabo Swinney says, “Those people are crazy.”
The Clemson coach told Qualk & Kelly Tuesday on The Roar (105.5 FM) in Clemson those people are looking to get their name into the main-stream media.
“Let’s find those people five years from now, they will be long gone, or they will forget that quote,” Swinney said. “People will say anything they want to say right now because there is no accountability.”
Simmons was a unanimous All-American and winner of the Butkus Award at Clemson after leading the Tigers in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks in 2019. He was also tied for second in interceptions.
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables built an entire scheme around Simmons’ unique skillset as a linebacker, which allowed the Tigers to finish third in scoring defense and sixth in total defense nationally.
“If you got 53 people on your roster, he is like having 56,” Swinney said. “If there is something bad with that, they are just crazy. There is not a team out there that would not raise their hand and say, ‘You mean I can have 56 and everybody else would have 53?’ Everybody would do that. And that is what he means.”
Swinney says Simmons is not only a talented player, but he is a great person, too and he will make an impact on his team and in the community, no matter who chooses him in Thursday’s 2020 NFL Draft. The former Clemson standout is expected to be selected in the first 10 picks of the draft. Some NFL Draft analyst have Simmons as the No. 1 overall prospect on their board heading into Thursday’s draft.
“The guy played over 100 snaps at five positions. What that says is he is smart. He has football knowledge,” Swinney said. “So, if his versatility, if it’s bad to be able to blitz, tackle, cover, catch and do all of those things, then I guess he is bad. But the last time I checked those are things that win games for you. So, he is a great football.”
The Clemson coach continued by saying Simmons will play anywhere and he will be great doing it. He says he will play special teams and he will be the best player on special teams.
“He is just unique, and in this day and age of football, when everybody is looking for a hybrid guy, to me he is the model of what you go find,” Swinney said. “But there are not many guys like him, so you have to kind of settle. With Isaiah Simmons, you don’t have to settle. He is elite wherever you want him to be.
“He is going to be a backer, but he brings an unbelievable skillset to the position. It will be interesting to see where he goes, but he is going to go high for a reason. He is going to be a great football because it is important to him. He has character. He has work ethic. He knows how to compete, and he loves to compete.”
Swinney says Simmons is not some prima donna player that is looking for a paycheck and is going to ride off into the sunset.
“That guy likes to play. I can’t wait to see him,” he said. “He will be an awesome player at the next level and for people that don’t think that … they are crazy.”
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