Simon gives Miles the good news

Tharold Simon had always hoped that his dream of playing major college football would become a reality. Last Friday, LSU head coach Les Miles informed Simon that he was one step closer to realizing that dream when he extended a scholarship offer. Now, one week later, Simon is even closer to seeing that dream come true.

“I committed to coach Miles,” Simon informed on Saturday via text message.


Simon (6-4, 180, 4.5) made up his mind earlier in the week when he had some time away from school due to the Mardi Gras holiday. He said that he thought about his decision and all signs pointed in one direction.


“Since I was a young kid I always wanted to go to LSU but I never thought this day would come,” said Simon, who also has offers from Texas A&M and Tulsa, along with interest from many other schools including Tennessee, Alabama and Ole Miss amongst others. “That was the place I always wanted to go so why wait? I might as well do it now and get it behind me.”


Aside from growing up an LSU fan, Simon has grown close to the LSU coaching staff since he made the first junior day on Jan. 31. That bond he’s built is one other reason that Simon is comfortable with the decision he made, but certainly not the only one.


“I feel real good about coach Mac (D.J. McCarthy) and coach Miles,” said Simon. “Those are two wonderful coaches and seem like they care about me not only as a football player, but also as a student and person.


“Coach Mac talks about how much support the players get at LSU and I saw that when I went to the first junior day. They have a lot to help you with your studies and they get you ready for the NFL. You can’t go wrong if you get an education and make it to the NFL.”


Simon possesses the God given talent to play on either side of the ball at LSU just as he has with Eunice ever since he cracked the starting lineup in the middle of his freshman year.


As a junior, Simon logged 75 tackles and picked off five passes while playing primarily cornerback and some safety. On the other side of the ball he caught 22 passes for 337 yards and five touchdowns in Eunice’s Wing-T offense.


The plays he made on both sides of the ball gave the LSU coaches plenty to look at on film and that also has them still in doubt as to which side of the ball he will start out on.


“The other day we were talking and I know he (D.J. McCarthy) was clowning around but he said don’t let anyone talk you into playing defense,” Simon said in jest. “He was saying he needs me on offense but I don’t think they know yet.”


And as for Simon, he could care less on which side of the ball he plays on.


“People have been asking me that a lot lately and I just want to play,” he said. “At first I wanted to play receiver then I wanted to play safety. Now I just want to play and help my team as best I can.”


Eunice head coach Paul Trosclair will play Simon at safety during his senior campaign and he’s in the same boat as the LSU coaches as to being undecided on what the future holds past high school.


“I think he could play on either side,” Trosclair said. “He is so physical on both sides and he is real aggressive. I think that’s what got Texas A&M so interested early on and why they had him as their No. 1 safety. He’s got excellent hips and he gets downhill so fast.”


Now that his decision is behind him, Simon said that he will focus on the immediate future which is helping Eunice prepare for the 2009 campaign and getting academically qualified to play as a true freshman at LSU.


“It’s a big relief because now all I have to do is perform next year and handle my business,” said Simon. “I can concentrate on my season and on my studies and not have any distractions. I’m waiting to see how I do on the ACT and my GPA is something that I’ve been working on. Coach (Trosclair) has laid everything out for me and if I handle my business then I’ll be in good shape.”


While the focus may be on the immediate future and Eunice, it would be impossible for Simon to not think about the distant future since it is now laid out in front of him.


“It feels good to be a Tiger but for the next year I’m still a Bobcat. I guess you could say I’m something mixed between a Bobcat and Tiger but I don’t know what you’d call that,” he said with a laugh.

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