“I’m going to Arizona and really my relationship with Miller and his staff just grew and grew,” Simmons told Scout. “We have an indescribable relationship. I just feel more comfortable with that stuff and I can trust them the most.”
“Me and Book [Richardson], the assistant coach, we are pretty much like family,” he added. “He knows my family as well and has known them for over 20 years. That’s just where I feel most comfortable with my style of play. Me and the players have cool relationships and that’s just where I’m most comfortable at.”
Simmons took fall official visits to Kentucky and Ohio State, before eventually selecting Arizona over the Buckeyes. Simmons picked Arizona, despite not taking a visit to their campus.
“It’s not like a school like North Dakota or something, where you have to go see if you’ll like it,” Simmons said. “It’s out there. I will be going out there right after I commit. That’s not really a big factor, I just know that’s where I need to be.”
The plan is for Simmons to take his official visit to Arizona next weekend, but the visit plans haven’t been finalized.
“A lot of people don’t know, but this is going on four years of them recruiting me,” Simmons said. “I’ve been to their games. I went to a game when they played at Clemson my freshman year.”
“They came to a couple of my games last year and I had an in-home visit with them,” he added. “They came and saw me workout a couple of times. We always had a tight relationship. Sean just extended it more and more and showed me how bad they wanted me.”
Although he hasn’t been on campus, Simmons has developed friendships with some of the current players at Arizona and they’ve been actively recruiting him this week.
“I’ve been talking to [Allonzo] Trier, Kadeem [Allen], Justin [Simon] and Ray Smith, they’ve been texting me all week. They wanted to get this thing done and want me to be part of their family.”
Simmons, a standout at Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis, is currently regarded as the No. 18 overall prospect in the 2016 class.
“I’m going to be another playmaker on the floor and a leader just making plays,” he said when asked about his future role at Arizona.
Since settling on his choice, Simmons said he’s felt at ease with his decision.
“I’m excited,” Simmons said. “Once I finally knew I was going there, you could tell it was different than any other school. I was extremely happy. I’ve just been happy the whole week for me to be like that, I just know where home is. I know that I’m ready for that.”
Arizona now has a pair of five-star prospects in the 2016 recruiting class. Simmons joins Finland native Lauri Markkanen, who isn’t eligible for Scout’s overall rankings, but has been evaluated as a five-star recruit. With those two prospects on board, Arizona now has the No. 8 recruiting class in the country.
The Wildcats are still looking to add a wing and more size to their class and are strongly in the mix with the nation’s No. 3 player – Josh Jackson – as well as Aussie star Harry Froling. Both have taken official visits to Arizona.