College: South Carolina
Birthday: November 9, 1983
With just two years of college football on his resume, sophomore Ko Simpson is ready for the NFL. No, he isn’t suffering from delusions of grandeur by making the move this soon. After grayshirting his first season at South Carolina, Simpson had a breakout season as a freshman in 2004. He picked off six passes, third-most in the entire country that year, and earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors from the Associated Press.
Simpson is a difference maker. He led the Gamecocks with 103 tackles as a sophomore, 34 more than his next closest teammate. Sure, when a safety makes that many tackles, it is a sign of a subpar defensive unit, but Simpson is a productive player nonetheless. He also has terrific range and coverage abilities. He may be a little under the radar in these early pre-draft months, but Simpson’s upside could easily translate into him being the top safety in this draft class.
More quick than fast, Simpson has the agility of an elite free safety. It would be nice if he added a little more muscle to his otherwise solid frame, but a year in an NFL weight program ought to do the trick. Simpson could also be a bit more physical on the field, but his tackle stats show that he at least doesn’t shy from making contact.
Though he is somewhat inexperienced given just his two college seasons, Simpson is a rare draft-eligible sophomore that is a senior-like 22 years old. He was asked to grayhirt in 2003 because then-Gamecocks head coach Lou Holtz had too many recruits signed. Holtz obviously asked the wrong recruit to sit out his first season. NFL teams are now forewarned about making Simpson sit for too long on draft day.
(profile written by Keith Weiland)
Ko Simpson’s 2005 Stats G TCK PBU INT FF FR 12 103 9 1 0 2 Ko Simpson Home