February 23, 2011

Simmons juggles offers

A slow start for Encino (Calif.) offensive tackle Jordan Simmons was hardly an indicator of things to come.

Simmons has pegged as one of the class of 2012's best lineman early in his career. He was the second player - and first offensive lineman - USC offered in the class. But when coaches weren't calling right after signing day, Simmons was confused.

Now at 20 offers, Simmons is back at ease.

"I didn't expect this much attention at all," Simmons said. "A few weeks after signing day, it was slow for me. A few weeks later, I talked to coaches from a lot of schools right after they got back from breaks and they just said they had been busy."

Simmons' next step is figuring out is making trips to several schools of interest.

"I'm going to Cal's junior day, and I'm going to stop by Stanford while I'm up there," Simmons said. "I think I'm going to Arizona State, too, on an unofficial. I want to take official visits to Cal and Washington."

The straight talk approach that the Huskies have employed has worked well on Simmons.

"I talked to Washington, and they're not B.S.-ing me," Simmons said. "A lot of coaches say that I can come in and start, but you can't really believe the hype. Washington said they couldn't guarantee anything and that you have to earn your spot."

Simmons has been around the country with his AAU basketball team and said he wouldn't mind leaving home for college.

"I want a strong coaching staff, one that's going to be there for my whole career," Simmons said. "I want good teammates and a family-based school."

Simmons hopes to major in graphic arts or design so that he can make his own line of shoes specifically for linemen. Though he said all schools would provide opportunities to connect with shoe companies, Simmons mentioned Oregon as a school of interest.

"All the other schools have connections with Nike, but Oregon is the quickest way of getting in contact with them since the owner is basically the sponsor of the team," Simmons said.

After transferring from Dorsey High School, Simmons is still finding life at Crespi High School quite different.

"Crespi is very different from Dorsey academically and in football," Simmons said. "It's a college prep school, so they're preparing me. I transferred so that I could have good academics and then expand that into college."

USCfootball.com will keep you updated on Simmons throughout the year.

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