Simmons shows stuff against Iowa State
Signs ... signs of stardom.
That's what Marvin Simmons demonstrated Saturday as the junior college all-American middle-linebacker played his first defensive snaps as a Kansas State Wildcat 11 games into this season.
"We said all along that Marvin can play. We said he was a good player, and he is," said KSU coach Bill Snyder. "Marvin was just in a position where he had to grow up and mature into the program, and the reward is the opportunity to get on the field. And then our reward is that if he gets there, he plays very well."
Snyder added, "There were some things outside of football that he needed to address and get taken care of. He's become a much more responsible young man."
In a 45-0 victory over Iowa State, the 6-foot-1, 230-pound sophomore posted five tackles, two of which went for losses totaling nine yards.
On Simmons, linebacker coach and co-defensive coordinator Brett Bielema added, "It's been a lot of things that have kept him off the field. If there was only one thing to correct, it would have been done in a week.
"He's just learning accountability in every aspect in his life on and off the field," Bielema said. "He had to do that before being put in a position to have success on the field."
Simmons was not allowed to talk to the media after the game, but it was evident that the transfer from Compton College had the tools for success.
"He's a guy who can move to the football, and with power," Bielema said. "He has some abilities not a lot of people have. He can erase some mistakes just because of the way he can run. He just needs to grasp the whole picture."
Outside linebacker Josh Buhl, who was credited with six tackles, added of Simmons's play, "He showed what he's been showing in practice. He played fast."
Snyder said he wasn't sure whether Simmons would start at at Nebraska on Saturday, but said, "The fact that he created the opportunity to get on the field, and then was not disappointing in regard to his performance was nice to see."
After viewing tapes of the game, Snyder said that Simmons didn't necessarily grade out any higher than the other linebackers, but, "You can see he can play. We always recognized that, but now to see it on the field is a stamp of approval."
On starting at Nebraska, Snyder said, "Based on what we know and now what we've seen, he can be a viable part of the mix. How much playing time he will get remains to be seen."
Simmons, a graduate of California's Long Beach Poly High School, first signed with USC, but redshirted the 2001 season. He was ranked 51st by SuperPrep and among the top 100 players in the nation out of Compton College.
Prior to Saturday, he had played only on the K-State kickoff unit against Colorado. In the last two games, he had not even suited up against Baylor and Kansas.
Early in the year, a hamstring injury had slowed his progress.
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