Simmons talks A-Day, recruiting boom

Alabama hosted plenty of talent on A-Day Saturday, but only a few are already planning on playing for the Crimson Tide. T.J. Simmons is in the latter group, and he details how different the Tuscaloosa experience was this time around.

Alabama commitment T.J. Simmons, ranked as the top in-state wide receiver in the class of 2016, was back on campus over the weekend for the A-Day festivities. It was a different experience for him among dozens of prospects on campus with Crimson Tide offers to their name.

He did some recruiting while in town, too.

“Everybody was just nice to me and all the recruits there knew who I was since I was committed, “ he said, laughing. “I do talk to a couple of people to see where Alabama stands on their college lists. I know that (thee-star linebacker) Erroll (Thompson) from Florence had a great time; he loved the campus and the coaches. (Four-star linebacker) Ben Davis had a good time, but he told me he’s going to wait until later in the season or next year to commit.”

While there was seemingly a task to help the current class, Simmons still glows when speaking of his recruitment to this point.

“Just getting an offer from the University of Alabama was great, being a part of one of the best teams in the country is a great opportunity,” he said. “A-Day was fun, I had a great time, it’s always a great time when I go down to Alabama. It just lets me know that everything down there is still great. The people are still awesome; the campus looks good, the facilities still look good.”

Keeping tabs on emerging wide receivers on campus, the Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville standout witnessed Robert Foster catch six passes for 125 yards while Ardarius Stewart snagged eight for 118 yards and a pair of scores.

“The game was great, but the receiver and the quarterbacks were clicking real nice,” he said. “It lets me know that coach (Billy) Napier is doing a good job bringing up the young receivers and it lets me know that progress is being made.

“I talked to coach Napier and coach (Mario) Cristobal after the game. They were excited to see me and to come in and join the team. Coach Napier told me he’s going to visit me sometime this week and watch my quarterback (Tyrell Pigrome), me and Nico (Collins) throw a little bit.”

The reigning Class 6A state champions, Clay-Chalkville was an offensive juggernaut in 2014 and the entire passing attack returns in 2015. The rise of the offense en route to the state title resulted in a recruiting boom for the entire roster.

“It’s been crazy, I knew it was going to happen, but I didn’t know it would happen so fast,” Simmons said.

Despite being committed to Alabama, that boom hasn’t yet capped the courting of the rising-senior.

“I’m 100 percent to Alabama, but I still want to go see other campuses,” Simmons said. “‘Bama is great, but other colleges do have good things to offer as well. Florida State, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Texas, Texas A&M, places like that. We’ll see what happens in the summer.”

Simmons in Action:

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