It has been a great year for Isaiah Simmons. The linebacker was named ACC defensive player of the year.
In only his second full year at the linebacker position after moving from safety following the 2017 season, Simmons owns a team-high 83 tackles and ranks sixth among ACC defenders with 14 tackles for loss. The athletic junior from Olathe, Kansas, has also registered six quarterback sacks as the leader of a Clemson unit that leads the nation in fewest points allowed per game (10.1) and ranks second in total defense.
A Bednarik and Nagurski finalist, Simmons posted a season-high 11 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in the Tigers’ win over Syracuse early in the season. He earned ACC Linebacker of the Week, Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week and Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week honors following that performance.
Simmons closed the regular season with 10 tackles, including two for loss, a sack and a pass breakup in last Saturday’s 38-3 win at rival South Carolina.
ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson - 42
Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina - 4
Rayshard Ashby, LB, Virginia Tech - 3
Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pitt - 3
Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami - 2
Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State - 2
Carlos Basham, DE, Wake Forest - 2
Patrick Jones II, DE, Pitt - 1
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State - 1