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College teammates to reunite in Arizona Cardinals game against Jacksonville

Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons and Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence were teammates at Clemson. On Sunday, they’ll get to play against each other for the first time

TEMPE, Ariz. — When the clock strikes 10 a.m. in Arizona on Sunday, Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons will get to do something he has never done before: get the chance to tackle Trevor Lawrence.

“In pads, I’ve never really been able to touch him other than a high five or something, so this will be a first,” Simmons said. “Me and Trevor are really good friends. (I'm) really looking forward to playing against him finally, outside of being in practice. (He's a) great player, I always love a good matchup, so, I’m really looking forward to playing against a friend.”

The pair were teammates at Clemson from 2018-20, before Simmons was selected with the 8th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. They won a College Football Playoff National Championship together in 2018 and made another Championship game appearance in 2019.

However, despite his experience practicing against and knowledge of Lawrence, Simmons says no one has asked him about defending the most recent No. 1 overall pick.

“Nobody’s asked me, I don’t know why,” Simmons said. “I thought somebody would ask me, but nobody’s really asked me. I’ve been trying to give little tips here and there but I figured more people would ask me than they have.”

Simmons and Lawrence developed a friendship at Clemson and still talk to this day, but that may not happen on Sunday.

“You always talk about, ‘Well, if I played you, this would happen.’ And now, it’s finally going to happen so we’re going to see who gets the better end of the stick,” Simmons said. “It’s always fun playing against your friends. It just brings a different level of competitiveness. I’m going to try not to talk to him because you know these refs and these new taunting (rules).”

Simmons also says the Cardinals will have their hands full on Sunday, as Lawrence is a dual-threat quarterback, much like Arizona’s QB, Kyler Murray.

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

And it wasn’t just Simmons that was complimenting his college teammate today. Lawrence also spoke about Simmons, saying Simmons is a special player.

“The one thing about him is just he’s really dynamic because he’s big, really long and he’s fast and powerful,” Lawrence said. “He can kind of do everything. He can play in the box, he can get on the perimeter, chase guys down, pass rush a little bit, he can kind of do it all. (I’ll) have an eye out for him.”

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