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Simmons Looks Forward to Matchup with Clemson Teammate Lawrence

Isaiah Simmons and Trevor Lawrence spent two years together at Clemson and will meet for the first time as opponents on Sunday.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has put on a show wherever he's played. Whether it be at the high school, college or professional level, Lawrence's talents have seen him hailed as one of the highest-rated quarterback prospects to enter the league in decades. 

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons should know. He had a front-row seat to Lawrence's arm talent when the two were teammates in 2018-2019. 

"It's hard (to defend Lawrence). He can make any throw on the field easily," said Simmons. 

"So we're gonna have to really cover just because I mean, personally, I know. I know that he can make any throw, he can scramble and still make the throw, he can make it on the run. (He has a) really talented arm. That's something that I say in our time, that doesn't really come around too often, that I've seen at least."

Lawrence, for the better part of his football career, has been held in nearly holy amounts of regard for his play. Simmons wasn't a believer until he saw it in person.

"When he came in, I saw the videos of what he was doing in high school and everything," said Simmons. "I mean, it's high school, I kind of expect you to do that, you're the No. 1 player in the country. But then he came in college and did the exact same thing. He quickly won me over realizing that he was a really special player."

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Simmons says the opportunity to actually hit the quarterback will be a new experience, but also said the two would talk about playing against each other on Sundays.

"This is stuff we talked about in college," said Simmons. "Like you always talk about, 'Oh, if I played you, this and that would happen' and now it's finally gonna happen. So we're gonna see who gets the better end of the stick. But it's always fun playing against your friends, it just brings a different level of competitiveness. I'm gonna try not to talk to him because you know, these refs and these new taunting (rules)."

While there may be no extreme taunting on the field, Simmons has been giving minor tips and tricks to his teammates when it comes to defending Lawrence, although those weren't disclosed to the media on Wednesday. He even joked that he was surprised no one had asked about him about defensive the overall first pick in the draft.

As far as what stands out about Lawrence, Simmons points to something not many speak about: His ability to move the chains with his legs. 

"I think his ability to run is something that people don't really talk about, but I know for a fact that he can run," said Simmons. "He can run the ball effectively. But I guess something that is kind of like shocking is his arm power is even better than his ability to run. I would consider him a dual-threat quarterback, just off of what I know he can do."

Lawrence and the Jaguars aren't off to a fairy-tale start, as Jacksonville will host the Cardinals as an 0-2 team. Whenever Simmons and the rest of the defense takes the field on Sunday, they'll be fully aware of what "Sunshine" can do with the ball in his hands.