Trenton Simpson is living his dream. In his first game at Memorial Stadium, the freshman got his first career sack, one of four on the day as top-ranked Clemson shut out The Citadel 49-0 on Saturday.
It was the Tigers’ first shutout since blanking Ohio State, 31-0, in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.
Simpson credited his mom, the rest of his family, his teammates, and defensive coordinator Brent Venables for starting his time off at Clemson on such a high note. The linebacker also credits his preparation as being the key to help him grow into the Tigers’ defense.
Simpson on having his family there for his first game at Death Valley
“It was a great feeling, just knowing all of my family was there. My mom has always been my biggest fan. She is always there to hype me up and encourage me, so for me to make a play and her to be able to see it was just the best feeling ever.”
Simpson on his mindset going into these first two games
“Really just the preparation. Coach V, [James] Skalski, Mike Jones, those guys have helped me so much. So many reps in practice, I was ready. The preparation has helped me for these big games.”
Simpson on if he played against an option offense in high school
“Most teams do the spread. This was my first time playing against that offense. It was great to learn how to defend it. It was cool to play against it for the first time.”
Simpson on being able to have his eyes in the right gap
“It was an adjustment, but like coach V said, you have to focus on one thing at a time. You have to focus on the block, then getting out and making a play. Doing one thing at a time and repping it all week in practice. It came together when the game happened.”
Simpson on patiently waiting for his Clemson offer and now playing at Death Valley
“Dream come true. I am still living my dream. I waited. This is where I wanted to be. My opportunity came, I made sure I committed. Learning every day, having fun, taking leadership with my older teammates, and running with it. Just having the time of my life.”