Trenton Simpson is on the verge of becoming a great football player. And a versatile player at that.
He arrived in Clemson last year very inexperienced but very willing to learn. Having played a lot running back in high school, it was understandable that Simpson might need a season to soak up Brent Venables defensive scheme and acclimate to the college game.
However, that’s not quite how things played out. With each passing week, Simpson was seeing more time on the field and by the end of the season was playing as many snaps as starter Mike Jones Jr, sometimes even more.
Simpson credits his ability to be able to pick up on things so quickly to having a great teacher and says that in his eyes, there is no one better than Venables.
“Coach V is the best… best I’ve ever been around,” Simpson said. “Best coach I’ve ever learned from. Because, you know, he tells you what to do and if you just play hard and physical I mean, that’s something that’s just football nature. Running back or linebacker.”
Simpson appeared in all 12 games for the Tigers last season and even made three starts as a true freshman. He finished the season with 32 tackles, 6.5 TFL, and four sacks, while logging 281 snaps.
With Jones Jr having transferred out of the program, Simpson will in all likelihood be the Tigers’ starter at the ever-important SAM spot.
The rising sophomore said that he learned fairly quickly what was required of him, and that’s the kind of mindset that should make him one of the better players for Clemson on the defensive side of the ball next season.
“You play as hard as you can and if you willing hit somebody and you have an idea of what you’re doing and just listen to what Coach V tell you… I think that’s why everything worked out for me so well,” Simpson said. “Because I just play hard and I just took everyday in the meeting room serious and just try to bring it over to the field, to my best ability.”