Simmons, who becomes the seventh member from the class of 2009 to verbal to Duke, said the Blue Devils' pitch and the opportunity to stay close to home was too much to pass up.
"You can't beat the academic environment there, and I felt really comfortable with the people and coaches in and around the program. Plus I know the location and when I weighed it all out, Duke was the top choice in all three areas."
Checking in at 6-foot-4, and 255 pounds, Simmons played offensive tackle last year for Sanderson, but expects to move inside to guard while playing defensive end and defensive tackle in 2008. However, he projects to stay solely on the offensive side of the ball when he arrives at Duke.
"Right now I am planning to go in and take a year to add good weight. With their offensive system they want linemen who are quick and strong. I need to add around 25-30 pounds and I've got a lot of time to do it the right way."
Simmons chose Duke over interest from NC State and Virginia Tech. He had offers from Western Carolina, East Carolina, and Navy.