Clemson linebacker Simmons giving up senior year for NFL

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson’s “Swiss Army Knife” linebacker Isaiah Simmons is going pro.

Simmons is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound defender from Olathe, Kansas. He announced his decision Saturday on social media.

Simmons won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. He was also a first-team All-American and the Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year.

He led Clemson with 107 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and eight sacks this season. He also led the team in quarterback pressures and was tied for lead in pass breakups.

At the end of Monday night’s national championship loss to LSU, Simmons ran over to Clemson fans and the band in the stands and slapped their hands as he left the field.

He thanked head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables for helping him during college. But, he said, it was time for him “to take the next step in my journey.”

Simmons is projected among the top players who’ll be selected at the NFL draft next spring.

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