Swinney, Clemson Search For Isaiah Simmons Replacements

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says the development of linebacker Mike Jones Jr. and a third corner will help easy the replacement process of the versatile Isaiah Simmons for the Tigers.
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Clemson has had a variety of versatile players in head coach Dabo Swinney's era. 

From Christian Wilkins and the jumbo package to Isaiah Simmons playing every position on the defense, being well-balanced is something Swinney is looking for in their next leader.

“I think we got a lot of candidates that we got to figure out, how it all is going to work, but Mike Jones is probably one of the bright spots of camp, just looks different in every area, the way he moves, his confidence, his awareness," Swinney said before spring practice came to a halt March 11. "He's just playing really fast. He's where he's supposed to be. His anticipation of everything. He's a big-time thumbs-up guy after seven days. Stock is way up on him. He's really, really done a nice job.”

Swinney believes he's got plenty of talent and time to replace Simmons, but it'll take more than just one person. It'll take another position stepping up to play one of the many roles left behind. 

“Ultimately, no matter what, I think we've got to have to get that third corner guy," Swinney said. "I think that's an area we can get better, a little bit better as a team and have a true third corner guy that can get in there and play something like what we did with Ryan Carter and some of that.”

Clemson may not be at their apex yet, but Swinney says this team will continue to improve.

“We really didn't feel like we had that last year and we really didn't have to," he said. "I think that's an area, but right now we were trying to get a second corner. Everybody's got a mash unit going on, so they just got all nagging around. We'll get there."