"My night out with the players was pretty crazy," said the three-star wide receiver out of Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern. "When the frat parties got shut down, everybody rushed out of the frat party, and they went out into the street. Everybody was out in that circle, where all the frat houses are, and I had seen him earlier that night, and I was like, 'He looks pretty familiar.'
"Later on, we were walking towards the pizza place, I think it was Fat Slice, and we ended up in line, and he had found out that I was visiting, and he was like, 'Oh, you're a Georgia boy? If you need anything, let me know. I've got you.' He was selling me on Cal. It's an adjustment, but you get away from home, you get the actual college experience."
It wasn't the only Southern connection that Simmons formed over the weekend.
"My host was a Georgia boy, from Westminister, Russell Ude, and I was with him for a little bit, and then I was with Trey [DePriest Turner] after that, and he's from Alabama, so I was with him for the rest of the night," Simmons said. "I got a chance to speak with Jaylen Brown and a couple of the basketball recruits. Jaylen Brown is also a Georgia boy, so I talked with Trey and Jaylen, just getting their perspective on how it is to move across the country, be away from your family, and me going to college and not being able to depend on your parents and be able to go home very weekend, but they said they loved it. They said it's different -- it's a big adjustment -- but they loved it."
Simmons also talked quite a bit with commit Markus Wright, out of Columbus, Ga.
"That was his first time out there, also, and he said he loved it," Simmons said. "I think Cal was his biggest offer, so he committed in late July or June. He was saying that we get to go to school in California, where the weather is nice all year round, and we get to go to the No. 1 public school in the nation, so you can't beat that."
Of course, the majority of the Cal coaching staff hails from south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and head coach Sonny Dykes, of course, is a Texas. It was a conversation with Dykes that really helped drive home how important Simmons could be, should he choose the Bears.
"My talk with coach Dykes, he's the head coach and he's also the outside receivers coach, so if I go there, he would be my coach," Simmons said. "We sat down and watched some film, showing me where I would fit in at Cal. He was showing me how they would get me the ball. He was telling me they need me to come in and make a difference, starting as a freshman. They would get the ball in my hands a lot, so that helps me the most."
Every part of the visit impressed Simmons, starting with the food (he dined at Skates on the Bay), and including the game day atmosphere.
"The environment, even though they took a loss to 'SC, it was still a great game," Simmons said.
The weather also certainly did its level best on Saturday to sell Simmons, with a 72-degree day at the end of October warming Simmons's bones.
"That's good, that's good," Simmons laughed.
Of course, the weather was just a small factor, when compared with the rest of the visit.
"I loved it out there," Simmons said. "The weather, you can't get any better weather than that, and the football side, they're losing seven receivers, so they're looking for someone who can start as a freshman and make big plays. The academic side, you can't get any better than the No. 1 public school in the nation. Even if you don't make it in football, you have a degree from the No. 1 public school, with a lot of connections coming out."
The visit, Simmons said, put the Bears firmly into his top group, and they've got some pretty heady company, with Duke, Alabama and Georgia. Simmons -- who has a 3.0 GPA -- will take his official visit to Duke next week, and to Alabama and "maybe" Georgia after the season.
"They need receivers to come in, and with that being said, they make the top for me," Simmons said.