Olathe family excited to see son in Clemson uniform vs. Alabama in national championship

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OLATHE, Kan. -- It's getting to be an annual college football affair.

On Monday night, top-ranked Alabama (14-0) will square off with number two Clemson (14-0) for the College Football Playoffs National Championship. The Crimson Tide and the Tigers have met in the CFP postseason for the past three years.

The national title tilt might mean a shade more to the Simmons family from Olathe. Victor Simmons, a Nebraska native who settled in Johnson County, beams with pride when he's asked about the collection of orange football jerseys in his family's kitchen.

The younger of his two sons, Isaiah Simmons, sent them to him, including the one he wore as a nickleback on Clemson's defense as the Tigers toppled Notre Dame in last weekend's Cotton Bowl.

Isaiah Simmons (Photo courtesy Clemson Athletics)

"He was like, 'Happy Birthday, Dad,' and I said, 'I appreciate it,'" a smiling Victor Simmons said.

Isaiah Simmons, a redshirt sophomore on Dabo Swinney's Clemson destructive defense, leads his team with 75 tackles for the season. The former Olathe North football star is expected to start again Monday night in the biggest game of the season.

But jerseys are only the start for the Simmons. Their Olathe home is covered in Clemson keepsakes, as well as photos of Isaiah in uniform, and Kansas Jayhawks memorabilia as well. The Simmons' older son, Victor Simmons Jr., played college football during his days in Lawrence, Kansas.

What the Simmons family would really like is another national championship ring. On Thursday, the Simmons family showed off the collection of championship rings Isaiah has accumulated from bowl games, conference championships and the 2016 CFP National Championship game.

"It really is surreal. Everyone looks at Isaiah and they say, 'Wow, there's this terrific football player.' The other side of the story is, like, that's just Isaiah to me. He's just a chump," Victor Simmons laughed, teasing his son the way many dads do.

They joke with him because they love him.

The Simmons crew will be in Northern California on Monday to see the Tigers tackle the Crimson Tide. If not for Isaiah's 6-foot-4 frame and great athleticism -- as well as Clemson Assistant Coach Brent Venables, a Salina native -- the family of four might be someplace else, instead of traveling to attend their eighth Clemson game of the season.

The Simmons family

"It's weekend and weekend of travel, lodging and food. It's come to the point where it's time for the big dance, and we're here again," Victor Simmons told FOX4's Sean McDowell.

At Olathe North High School, Eagle football fans are supporting their native son, too.

Chris McCartney, who has been an Eagle coaching staff member for 22 years, as well as four as head coach, said he swapped texts with Simmons last week before the Cotton Bowl.

"I said, 'Good luck, big dog,' and he replied back and said, 'Thanks, Coach,'" McCartney said. "He's got potential that's unbelievable. He's so fast and athletic. He's a hard worker. This is something he's longed for for a while. I know he's excited."

The Simmons will fly from KC to San Jose on Sunday. Victor Simmons said football travel is fun, and he believes when they return on Tuesday, another ring will be in Isaiah's trophy case. Maybe another jersey, too.

Lee's Summit West High School will also have a representative in Clemson colors on Monday. Cornerback Mario Goodrich, who has been seeing playing time, is gathering attention despite being in his first year as a Tiger.

Clemson's meeting with Alabama begins at 7 p.m. CT on Monday.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.