Clemson football still does not get the respect that it has earned over the last decade and nothing could prove that more than former players Tee Higgins and Isaiah Simmons.
Sure, Clemson football has won two of the last four national titles and made all but the very first college football playoff. Sure, Clemson football has produced some of the NFL’s best players in Grady Jarrett, Deandre Hopkins, and Deshaun Watson. Sure, Clemson football had three first-round picks in 2019 alone.
However, Tee Higgins and Isaiah Simmons aren’t being recognized enough for what they did and who they are – elite football players. Yes, looking at the big draft board from all “NFL experts” Simmons is in everyone’s Top 5 prospects but had he played for Alabama, Ohio State or UGA he would be the consensus number one prospect in the 2020 draft.
No other player was more dynamic or playmaker for their team in college football than Simmons was in 2019. NFL teams told him in 2018 they had no idea where he would fit defensively, so they wanted to see develop into a better-rounded player, he did. Simmons rushed the passer, dropped into coverage and was a ball hawk. He may be the best defensive player in college football history.
Isaiah Simmons was unstoppable against every offense and the bigger the game, the bigger he played. You can’t say the same for Chase Young. Change the uniform he played in while in college and someone is trading with the Bengals to take him number one.
The same can be said for Tee Higgins. When talking heads talked about the best receiver in college, at no point did Tee Higgins name ever come up. Not to take anything away from Justyn Ross, but even he got more publicity as the nation’s best receiver in 2019. Yet, here was Higgins consistently putting up numbers for three years that any offensive coordinator in the country wished they’d have had.
On Monday, Higgins officially measured in at 6-3 5/8, 216 pounds and a wingspan of 81 inches. The two receivers that are expected to go before him in April’s draft, Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb were considerably smaller than he measured.
We all know other fan bases get tired of hearing Clemson football and the disrespect card, but when it is blatantly true, there is no other alternative but to make others aware of it.