Lima, Ohio – In the game of college athletic recruiting, honesty is sometimes the best policy.
U-M, more specifically head coach John Beilein, was open and honest with Simpson during the entire process of being recruited. He wasn’t the top point guard on their list, something Beilein told him upfront.
Despite being named openly as the number two point guard, Beilein’s honesty was something that stuck out with Simpson and played a major role in his commitment to the program.
“Coach Beilein has been keeping it honest since day one,” Simpson said. “There was a point guard that they were recruiting and told me upfront that I was number two. A lot of coaches will beat around the bush and wouldn’t tell me that and keep recruiting me. He kept it honest from day one and once I took my unofficial there he said he was going to offer me and that’s what he did. So I definitely trust him as a coach.”
Despite a late entry by U-M into the Simpson sweepstakes – U-M had been recruiting Simpson for about a month before committing – and visiting other programs, the campus in Ann Arbor separated itself during the Sunday visit he had with his family.
“When I stepped on campus the atmosphere was, just, it felt like my atmosphere,” Simpson said. “It felt like it was a place I needed to be and it felt like a place where I wanted to be. It just felt like God opened my eyes and showed me that patience is a virtue because it was obviously the last school that I had visited. So it was just God saying to be patient out there, everyone is telling me, ‘don’t wait too long you might get your spot taken.’ It was just God telling me, showing me his signs of how magnificent He works by telling me to be patient.”
Family plays a major role in Simpson’s life. From his mother and brother, they believed that he could achieve great things, including playing DI basketball. To his father, who also happens to be his high school basketball coach, who played a major role in opening his son’s eyes with the pros-and-cons list both father and son came equipped with during each college visit.
With the pros-and-cons list in tow in Ann Arbor, everything came up maize and blue.
“When I visited every college, my dad always had a big pros and cons list,” Simpson said. “So he showed me a lot of things on the cons list (during visits) that I didn’t even notice which definitely opened my eyes. With him being there, he knew and he saw a lot of things that definitely helped me out with my decision. When we went to Michigan, my dad and my mom, we all looked at it together. We knew. We knew that was the right college that I should attend."