COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Forget about football, recruiting camps, or the endless phone calls from college coaches and reporters.
Landon School (Bethesda, Md.) linebacker and coveted Terps 2016 target Keith Simms, who tripped to College Park three times this week including Saturday's 7-on-7 Tournament, wants to talk landscapes.
Like the landscapes he shoots and draws on frequent trips to nearby Great Falls, Va., or the ones he captured while in Northern California on a college trip of bucolic scenes like the Marin Headlands outside of San Francisco.
"Photography. PhotoShop as well. Nature, landscapes I like shooting them all," Simms said. "Shot right down to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was beautiful," he said.
Simms is building an impressive resume/canvas both on and off the field, a standout linebacker and student as the prestigious Bethesda private school, which hasn't sent Maryland a football player of any note (and he came as a walk-on) since defensive lineman Justin Duffie more than a decade ago.
As for football, and recruiting, Simms said after three trips to UMD this week he is trying more and more to cut things down to a final list, one which he hopes to have pared from six to eight in a month. He said he will take a few more unofficial visits, starting with the Terps' Big Show camp June 27, followed by UNC, Duke and Oregon in the next month, and then set his list by mid-July. Simms said he will decide on a college sometime during his senior season. He is tripping officially to Oregon mid-season over Landon's bye week, and will soon set up his UMD official trip.
"Maryland, definitely the brand," Simms said of what jumps out about the Terps. "A lot of the coaches emphasize staying at home, playing at Maryland, as if I were to live in this area it would hold a lot of weight. I live just a few minutes away so all my family could come as well," said the Hyattsville native.
Simms had a 7-on-7 full of touchdown receptions from his tight end spot, as well as PBUs at linebacker, as Landon went 4-0 and streaked to the playoffs before falling to Wilson (D.C.) in Byrd Stadium.
Simms knows a lot of his buddies and peers are beginning to commit to schools across the country, "but my parents emphasize staying grounded and just making the decision when I am ready, making the best decision for me. And the business school here, I just loved it during my recent visit. It was a real good thought to have because I want to be in the business school all my four years," Simms said.
Simms towered over much of the competition on June 20 at UMD, be it as a tight end leaping and diving for touchdown receptions and two-point PAT conversions, or batting and breaking up passes over the middle, and down the field, at his linebacker spot, showing good athleticism and change of direction for a big man.
When Terps 2016 quarterback commitment Dwyane Haskins arrived at the camp as a spectator, the first player he approached and shook hands with was Simms as Landon prepared to take the field for its second game at the Terps practice facility.
Later, as an exhausted Simms left Byrd after the final Landon game, he tipped his hat, well, er, a red Terrapins visor, to this reporter and wished him a good rest of the day.
Simms Sets A Compelling Landscape For Himself
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