Clemson football junior linebacker Trenton Simpson will skip his senior season and will enter the 2023 NFL Draft.
Simpson was already out of the Orange Bowl with an ankle injury suffered in the Notre Dame game and reaggravated against North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game against North Carolina and now he’s played his last game as a Clemson Tiger.
Simpson came to Clemson as a 5-star recruit from Mallard Creek High in Charlotte, North Carolina and the 26th ranked recruit in the nation, No. 1 outside linebacker and No. 1 player in the state of North Carolina.
Over his Clemson career Simpson totaled 187 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss12.5 sacks and 6 pass breakups.
Simpson is scheduled to graduate later this month.
At least one draft site projects Simpson as a mid-first-round pick and the second-ranked linebacker in the draft, putting the value of the contract somewhere around the $16,000,000 range.
Simpson becomes the second Tiger defender to announce an earlier departure to the NFL, with Myles Murphy declaring yesterday.
Bryan Bresee was also a celebrated member of that 2020 Clemson recruiting class, but as of yesterday Bresee was attending practice and participating, despite being projected to be in the top 15 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft.
With the amount of life-changing money at stake and the risk of injury high in any football game, I have no issue with players of this caliber opting for the draft as they have proven all they need to prove at the collegiate level and they should benefit accordingly from their work and talent.
The Clemson football team that takes the field December 30th will look very different from the one we saw during the season
The Clemson team that takes the field on December 30th will looked markedly different from the one we saw on the balance of the season, with the NFL declarations, injuries and transfers.
While that can be viewed as disappointing in one sense, in another sense it allows for young players, Wade Woodaz in this case, the get practice time and playing time that they would otherwise not have and allows for coaches to evaluate these players in situations they otherwise would not have the opportunity to do so.