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Etienne, Simmons named ACC Players of the Year

Travis Etienne is the ACC Offensive Player of the Year and Isaiah Simmons is the league's Defensive Player of the Year
Credit: AP
Clemson's Travis Etienne runs out of the backfield to score a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida State Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

For the second year in a row, Clemson running back Travis Etienne collects two big honors from the ACC.

The junior was named the ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He is the first player to accomplish that feat since current Baltimore Raven Lamar Jackson in 2016 and 2017. The last running back to repeat as ACC Player of the Year was UNC's Mike Voight in 1978.

He is the first Clemson player at any position to repeat since Steve Fuller in 1977-78 and the first Clemson running back to accomplish the feat since the award’s inception.

Etienne enters Saturday night’s ACC Football Championship game as the conference’s all-time leader in career touchdowns (57) and rushing touchdowns (53). He set those marks with his touchdowns in the regular season finale against South Caroilna.

Clemson senior linebacker Isaiah Simmons is the Defensive Player of the Year, giving the Tigers back-to-back winners of that award following current Oakland Raider rookie Clelin Ferrell. 

Simmons joins Ferrell (2018), Vic Beasley (2014), DaQuan Bowers (2010), Gaines Adams (2006), Leroy Hill (2004) and Keith Adams (1999) as the only Clemson players to earn the honor.

In only his second full year at the linebacker position after moving from safety following the 2017 season, Simmons owns a team-high 83 tackles and ranks sixth among ACC defenders with 14 tackles for loss. 

A Bednarik and Nagurski finalist, Simmons posted a season-high 11 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in the Tigers’ win over Syracuse early in the season. He earned ACC Linebacker of the Week, Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week and Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week honors following that performance.

Simmons closed the regular season with 10 tackles, including two for loss, a sack and a pass breakup in last Saturday’s 38-3 win at rival South Carolina.