Dabo Swinney dishes on Trenton Simpson’s growth and ‘unlimited potential’

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Most 2023 NFL mock drafts already have Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson pegged as a first-round draft pick, but according to head coach Dabo Swinney, Simpson isn’t done developing as a Tiger.

As Clemson began its first fall practice on Friday, Swinney and his staff were looking for players to arrive more equipped than when they were last with the team in the spring.

For Simpson, part of that growth came in the weight room, as he weighed in at an official 240 pounds, 10 pounds higher than what was listed last season.

“He’s a freak, man,” Swinney said on Friday. “It’s not the weight, it’s the composition of the weight, and that’s what it comes down to. He’s big, strong, fast, lean and smart. He’s been a great, dynamic player his first two years here.”

Simpson’s physical growth in the weight room and his development as a complete football player over the summer is an epitome of what Swinney expected from his players while they were on break.

“Trenton Simpson is the best Trenton Simpson that he’s ever been,” Swinney said. “That’s the mentality that it takes to have a great program. If the best version of you is back when you were a freshman, then something’s wrong. I don’t care if you made Freshman All-American; you got to get better. If everybody buys into that, then we will all be better. Trenton is the perfect example of that. This is the best version of himself than he’s been since a Clemson Tiger.”

As a sophomore in 2021, Simpson was credited with 65 total tackles (12.5 for loss), six sacks and two pass breakups.

As Simpson enters his junior year, Swinney believes the linebacker has “unlimited potential” and, with the self-improvement, is equipped with the right tools to wreak havoc on opposing offenses as he transitions to the weakside ‘backer spot.

“That’s good news for the Tigers, bad news for whoever we play,” Swinney said. “(Simpson) has a good combination of experience, size, strength, speed, athleticism and character.”

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Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire