Clemson Football: Isaiah Simmons will emerge as a star in 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02: Isaiah Simmons
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02: Isaiah Simmons /

Clemson football is set to return its fair share of firepower on defense next season. Here’s why Isaiah Simmons will emerge as yet another star for the Tigers’ on that side of the ball in 2018.

For those in and around the Clemson football program, Isaiah Simmons’ talent was clear. That being said, he was a well kept secret for the rest of the country in 2018.

As a redshirt freshman, Simmons recorded, 45 total tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. He also broke up six passes on the season.

He was all over the field for Clemson in 2017. If Simmons had better hands, he could have lead the entire team in interceptions.

Swiss Army Knife

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Dorian O’Daniel was Clemson’s ace defensively this year, due to his versatility. Playing outside linebacker for the Tigers, O’Daniel was a sure tackler who could also lock just about anybody down in coverage.

There wasn’t a responsibility that he wasn’t capable of handling for Brent Venables. With him moving on to the NFL, I expect Isaiah Simmons to take on that Swiss army knife role.

At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Simmons is much bigger than O’Daniel. The scary part is, he’s also much faster than O’Daniel. Simmons is as dynamic an athlete as you’ll find in the country.

He has the size to come down and mix it up with the big boys in the box and the speed to cover shifty slot receivers in space.

Increased Role

Simmons was able to fill up the stat sheet despite rotating with other defensive backs quite often last year.

With guys like, Van Smith, Ryan Carter and Marcus Edmund moving on to the NFL, Simmons is sure to see the field much more in 2018. Also, he may occupy O’Daniel’s hybrid nickel position when Clemson faces spread-oriented opponents.

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Brent Venables will have the luxury of keeping enough size on the field to stop the run when he goes to his nickel package. He can simply move Simmons down in the slot, closer to the line of scrimmage and bring K’Von Wallace it to occupy the other safety position opposite Tanner Muse.