Clemson Football: Isaiah Simmons deservedly wins Butkus Award

Isaiah Simmons, Clemson football
Isaiah Simmons, Clemson football /

Clemson football linebacker Isaiah Simmons took home the hardware for the 2019 Butkus Award, given to the best linebacker in college football.

There’s been no doubt among Clemson football nation that Isaiah Simmons was the best linebacker in the country.

All of those thoughts were echoed Wednesday night when Simmons was named the 2019 Butkus Award winner.

The Butkus Award, given to the best linebacker in College Football, had five finalists including Simmons, Evan Weaver (Cal), Zach Baun (Wisconsin), Jordyn Brooks (Texas Tech) and Micah Parsons (Penn State).

To this point in the 2019 Clemson football season, Simmons has recorded 93 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two interceptions.

Simmons was absolutely deserving of the award because of his versatility, athleticism and physicality. It doesn’t take long when watching Clemson football to realize just how good Simmons is and how much of a role he plays for the Tigers.

He has been relied upon to not only drop back in pass coverage and deal with talented wide receivers, but also to come up in run-support and blitz the passer. He does all of these things well and there’s no doubting that Simmons will be one of the top draft picks taken in this coming spring’s NFL Draft.

Michael Collins, of, caught up with Simmons at the award ceremony as the Tiger linebacker spoke on Clemson’s perceived ‘weak schedule.’

"“Our mentality is the same as Coach Swinney. We don’t worry about the opponent we’re playing, we’re going up against Clemson,” Simmons said. “You can say we play a weak schedule, but when you’re playing Clemson 12 times a year, it’s difficult. You don’t ever want to play down to your opponent, you want to play your best football.”"

Simmons said he believes the Tigers are playing well and that they will be playing better football when they take the field against Ohio State.

"“They have a lot of dynamic players who can really change the game,” Simmons said. “I think we match-up well with them and I think it should be a great game.”"

Simmons is not only one of the most talented football players in the country, he’s also a high-character guy. That is going to bode well for him at the next level when he goes into interviews and does workouts for professional teams.

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Simmons is a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award with Chase Young (Ohio State) and Derrick Brown (Auburn). The results of that award will be announced during ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12.