BYU offers top Cali offensive lineman

He's big and talented. Crespi High School's Jordan Simmons is a wanted man as one of California's top offensive linemen. With many schools to choose from, he's processing this new situation carefully and slowly as the whirlwind of recruiting is now spinning on his doorstep.

Although he's a wanted man, the 6-foot-5-inch, 324-pound Jordan Simmons doesn't act like it. He's approachable, humble and doesn't like to dwell too much on his abilities to play football or even about the recruiting attention from some of the top colleges across the country.

"I guess I'm okay," Simmons said. "I'm a humble kid and coachable and I work hard, I guess. My max is around 325 pounds, my squat is over 400, my dead lift is 515 and my power clean is 305."

Aside from football, Simmons enjoys spending time in the kitchen.

"I like to cook for myself and if I can cook for my family, I do it," Simmons said. "My dad likes to cook, and so sometimes me and my dad will a competition in the kitchen. I've been cooking since I was around eight. I remember my mom made this one recipe, and I used to watch her make it. One day she left town, and so I decided to make it and it came out the exact same way. Every now and then my dad and I will have a little cook-off. We normally eat out at healthy restaurants. I love seafood. I love oysters, shrimp and lobster."

So what kind of a player is Simmons? Well, although humble off the field, he had a different attitude on the field.

"I like to play ruthless," Simmons said. "Before I had my neck injury, I used to love to pull and all that. At the beginning of the season, I had a really bad neck injury and I missed five games. We were running this one trick play during practice. I was supposed to go outside, and me and the defender went helmet to helmet and my neck was on my shoulder for two whole weeks. I couldn't move it. I had sprained the muscle in my neck really badly. It was a bad muscle injury."

After rehabbing his neck, Simmons was able to rejoin his teammates in the middle of the season.

"I'm fine. I still have a little pain but, you know, I'm used to it. I do neck drills every day."

One team Simmons remembers playing last season was Servite High School. In fact, he remembers one specific player from the Servite defense.

"I remember the number 18 linebacker on their defense," Simmons said, referring to fellow BYU recruit Butch Pau'u. "Yeah, he's pretty good and made good tackles on us and made good plays. They beat us 40-16."

As for recruiting, things are going quite well for Simmons.

"There are a lot of schools and a lot of coaches and a lot of decisions," he said.

So far Simmons has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, BYU, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Miami, Michigan, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Notre Dame, San Diego State, SMU, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington.

When asked what school was currently recruiting him the hardest, Simmons mentioned the University of Utah.

"They've offered me and they are sending me a lot of mail hammering me. Coach Chow up at Utah has been following me from Utah. They keep up with everything. I wasn't expecting to see them at a basketball game the other day. You know, I play basketball too and then I get a letter from them saying that hopefully I'll become a Ute. I got the letter the next day."

In addition, Simmons has a former friend – Jermaine Carter – that plays for the Utes.

Meanwhile, Simmons has also been in contact with BYU.

"I was talking to them and they were talking to me about the religion part of their school," Simmons said. "They were telling me about how they take that serious, and it's a life-changing school for most of the players that went there. It was just crazy about how they were giving me all this information more on their religion, and this was from a football program! It was from the head coach, Coach Mendenhall."

He's also heard some positive things about BYU's campus and environment.

"They were saying that the bond that everybody has on the campus is just real great," said Simmons. "And, you know, you can just talk to anybody about anything on campus, like coaches, counselors and players."

Concerning BYU's football program, Simmons is still processing what little information he has, as the discussion he had was centered more on the religious side of the school.

Hearing about the high moral standards at BYU was interesting to Simmons.

"Yeah, it opened up my ears to hear what [Mendenhall] had to say," said Simmons. "I think it was a good thing."

BYU's environment could be a good fit for Simmons.

"It's great and I think I'm a good person now, but it would help me become a better person as I get older," he commented. "I think schools with good academics and religion is fine."

Simmons also had good things to say about Coach Mendenhall.

"I think he was a good dude, and all the coaches that I talk to are good dudes," he said. "It's just that you have to watch out for all the b.s. that they try to feed you. You know how most schools will tell you, 'If you come here you'll become an automatic starter and you won't have to work. Just come and play,' and stuff like that. I don't feel I got that from BYU but just from schools in general in the recruiting process. This just isn't happening for me, but for everybody. A lot of coaches will tell you that."

In the meantime, Simmons, who is new to the whole recruiting side of college football, is sorting things out and taking his time. He feels a bit overwhelmed at times and is just taking things slow.

"Well, I'm a rookie at this, so I really don't know how to handle it," he said. "I thank the coach for the offer and say, 'I appreciate it coach. I have a lot of interest in your school and I'm keeping my options open and I'll talk to you in a week.'"

Simmons isn't just looking for a place where he would feel comfortable, but is also looking at the various programs' and coaches' success.

"I've been looking at a lot of programs and coaches that have been out here," Simmons said. "I've been looking to see what their coaching records were from previous schools, and just following up on that and refreshing my memory on them and what they want to do at the new school they're at and what kind of a program they want to have."

Academics are also very important for Simmons.

"I know everyone says academics but that's my main focus," he said. "I think that would be good for me, and you know, that's why I transferred to Crespi High School was to get a good start on college. I wanted to go to a good high school so when I go to college the transition is a lot easier for me. I don't want to go to a college and make a bad name for myself. I would rather go through all the stress now and a college prep school, or a private Catholic school, so it will be an easier start for me at college. I just wanted to get a head start towards college. Ninety-nine percent of Crespi's seniors went to college last year."

In the meantime, Simmons said he is still wide open and is taking this new journey slowly.

"I'm open to anybody right now and haven't really narrowed things down," he said. "My coach said we're going to focus on a top 10 when September gets here, then narrow it down to seven, then five. Then from there, just tally up everything probably at the end of the football season."


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