"Coming from Indiana, it's a basketball state," Simmons said. "I kind of got caught up in that. But really, I have a prototype tight end's body, so that drew me in."
Simmons has emerged as a solid prospect in the 2011 class and showed well at the junior combine at the Alamo Dome last week. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds on a slow surface. His vertical leap was 34 inches and he posted a 4.5 in the shuttle.
"For a first-year football player, it's been an adjustment," said Simmons, who joined his Indianapolis prep team as a junior. "But I picked up blocking really well. I love to block. I can catch, run, jump. The thing I need to work on is really just learning the game more; learning the different techniques and inside things about being a better football player."
Although it hasn't offered a scholarship, Iowa is interested in Simmons. The feeling is mutual.
"I've had steady contact, not too much, but steady," Simmons said. "I've been in contact with Eric Johnson. That's a school that I really like and could picture myself playing for in the future.
"I love Iowa and what they did with (Tony) Moeaki. He's a nice tight end. They wanted some film and my high school coach took care of that. We'll see what happens from there."
Purdue and Indiana have extended offers to Simmons (6-foot-6, 245 pounds). He's also heard from Michigan State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, UCLA, Alabama, Missouri, Ohio and Nebraska. The schools that have contacted him the most are Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Nebraska and UCLA.
"My top five is Iowa, UCLA, Cincinnati, Purdue and probably either Missouri or Michigan State," Simmons said.
Simmons feels like more official offers should be coming his way in the next few months.
"It's just getting a chance to see my tape and see how I perform at the combine against some of the top players in the country," he said. "From there, I think things will pick up."