Prior to hosting his youth football camp with Tee Higgins last week, Isaiah Simmons watched Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson workout at the Kroc Center in Greenville, S.C.
“I saw him earlier. Trenton is a beast,” Simmons said.
If anyone who knows a beast when he sees one, it is Simmons. He was a beast for the Tigers from 2017-’19, as he became a unanimous All-American selection in 2019.
In his last year at Clemson, Simmons led the Tigers with 107 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He also had 17 quarterback pressures, broke up 10 passes and had three interceptions. He was arguably the most dominant defensive player in the country that year.
Simmons was later drafted No. 8 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Now the former Clemson star sees a lot of himself in Simpson.
“I was just talking to Coach (Brent Venables) and I was like, ‘So, tell me about him.’ And he’s like, ‘He is the real deal.’ We have all seen that,” Simmons said.
In his first season, Simpson played in all 12 games and had three starts. He finished his freshman year with 32 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. His four sacks ranked tied for second on the team, as did his 6.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
There is conversation that Simpson (6-3, 225) is already ahead of where Simmons was at this point in his career.
“We have all seen that,” Simmons said. “Midway through the year he made huge strides, making huge plays. I want to say it was the Notre Dame game when he really emerged. But with Trenton, the sky is the limit for him. As long as he stays focused, he should have new issues and play wherever he wants to play.”
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