Simmons still in awe over Tide offer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The top prospect in attendance at the Charlotte Nike Football Training Camp is also one of the hottest in recruiting. caught up with four-star Jahvoni Simmons soon after the event for the latest with his recruitment and where Alabama stands within it.

Among more than 200 prospects taking the field after a brief rain delay, most eyes were on Jahvoni Simmons Saturday at the Charlotte Nike Football Training Camp.

The Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes linebacker is the No. 2 middle linebacker prospect nationally on, with offers from the nation's top programs already to his name.

At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, camps on air aren't the best settings for a second-level run specialist, but the Scout 100 talent improved as the day progressed. It's just the latest challenge and adjustment he's had to make with his profile elevating to such a high level.

It's trickled down to his high school team, as well.

"It's always a grind, you have the whole team on your back, coaches expecting you to carry the team," Simmons said. "There's never a dull moment, you can never slack off with so much expected of you.

"I learned that coaches really attach to the senior players."

At the event, the four-star thrived in the chase-down drills in which he had to track ball carries on an angle. It wasn't as easy against backs in space or in passing drills, but he didn't find himself skipping reps like other elites that don't dominate these type of events recently have.

"I think I did fairly decent, I got beat a couple of times, but it's going to happen," he said. "I'm an inside linebacker, so they may have the advantage, but it's not an excuse.

"I wanted to see where I stand against other competition in the country."

Simmons held his own, and the Student Sports staff spoke to him after the event about a possible invitation to Nike's The Opening this coming summer.

The conversation with BamaMag soon after was about a possible trip to Tuscaloosa. Alabama offered about a month ago and he's been quick to mention the Crimson Tide ever since.

It was the first program mentioned when asked of schools standing out.

"Definitely Alabama, I mean Alabama is Alabama," Simmons said. "They contend for the national championship. It feels great knowing that Nick Saban actually wants you to be in his program."

"I talked to Coach [Lance] Thompson a few weeks ago, they're talking about getting me in in April, maybe for the spring game (April 19)."

The 2015 standout also mentioned schools like Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio State and others as standouts.

"They're all coming at me pretty hard right now," he said. "It's the start of my senior season, so everyone's trying to get the best."

Simmons, who mentioned that his recent trip to North Carolina stands out as the most unique he's been on to this point, is taking the recruiting process slowly. After spring and summer visits, he could begin to narrow his list, though a commitment isn't planned until later in the fall.

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