Simms Set To Visit UMD, On Terps Radar

Landon School in Bethesda, Md., is well known for its lacrosse recruits, but rarely does it produce an FBS football talent. But defensive end/outside linebacker Keith Simms is already on the radar of many FBS football programs and holds early offers from three Division I-A programs.

Landon School in Bethesda, Md., is well known for its lacrosse recruits, but rarely does it produce an FBS football talent, despite the school’s solid program. But defensive end/outside linebacker Keith Simms is already on the radar of many FBS football programs and holds early offers from three Division I-A programs. So far, Iowa, Boston College and Illinois have jumped on board with the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, while schools such as Maryland, West Virginia, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee and others have expressed interest.

“I’m just blessed with the opportunities I have this early in my career. A lot of the coaches had been showing interest because I had pretty good sophomore film, but they just told me to send back tape from this year to see how well I progressed,” Simms said. “And the first couple games this year, I really did make strides, and Iowa and Boston College both said they wanted to offer. I had been talking to [the BC and Iowa] coaches for awhile, and Illinois, too, and after they saw my film from this year they wanted to offer.

“I was very excited about all those offers. Definitely, those are all really good programs. I had been talking to the coaches from those schools for awhile, so it was great to get an offer from them. I know they’re all really good academically, but I haven’t studied them yet. So right now I’m just extremely excited to have the offers, and I’m looking forward to seeing the campuses and researching them.”

While the Illini, Eagles and Hawkeyes have already anted up, Simms said Maryland, Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Indiana could be on the verge. He has been in touch via social media with each of those schools’ assistants and said he expects an offer to materialize from each at some point.

For Maryland purposes, Simms said he’s been in touch with assistant Chad Wilt for some time now. The two have exchanged messages often on Twitter and Facebook, and Simms will be at the UMD-West Virginia game Sept. 13.

“Coach Wilt and I already have a good relationship,” Simms said. “He said they like me at defensive end and they like my film, but they’re still deciding whether I fit best at end or outside linebacker. But from what I’ve been told, they really do like me in general and want to get me out there. [Wilt] wants me to meet the head coach [Randy Edsall] and go from there.”

Simms went on to say he’s eager to see the game Sept. 13.

“I really am excited. I’m getting there like 9:30 a.m. just to talk to the coaches and stuff,” Simms said. “And I know a lot of guys there and have a lot of friends there, so I’m excited to see all of them. I want to see [the coaches’] interest in me and how they see me fitting there, and also the defense and how it works. I mean, I watch [the Terps] on TV, so I have an idea what [the defense] looks like, but it’s different when you see it up close and in person. So I’m really looking forward to that. It should be a really good time.”

Maryland probably won’t offer right away, but Simms believes he could secure the verbal in time. And if the scholarship is presented, he said he’d think long and hard about the hometown school.

‘That would be really exciting for me,” Simms said. “It’s the hometowns school and I know a lot guys there already, and a couple commits too. For my family and friends to be able to see me play, that would be great. So I’m really hoping for it, so we’ll see what happens with them. Right now I’m just really excited about seeing the school.

“Maryland is recruiting me as a hybrid, but depending on how I grow into my body I could be an outside linebacker or defensive end for them. Either way, I’d love the chance to show what I can do for my home school.”

In terms of other visits, Simms has taken in Duke and Old Dominion before. He is set to see BC, Illinois and Iowa at some point this year, if not during the fall then after his season ends.

Simms said he did not have a “favorite” program growing up, and is just now getting into college football. He said he’s purely in the evaluation stage and wants to see what all of his pursuers have to offer before making any definitive comments about “leaders." Moreover, he said he has no dream school or school he’d ideally like to secure an offer from.

Right now, though, Simms is focused on finishing his junior year strong. So far Landon is 1-1, and the Bears’ defensive end wants to lead his team to a conference title.

“The goal is to win the IAC, that’s all I’m thinking about right now,” Simms said. “Personally I want to get bigger and stronger because I’m light for a defensive end, but my main focus is on my team. I haven’t won a [conference] title yet personally, so I really want to get there. I’d love to get more offers, but my main goal is to help my team win.”

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