When college coaches were walking the hallways of McKeesport high school a few years ago, you can be sure that legendary head coach George Smith mentioned the name of Delvon Simmons, a budding star worth a return trip to the hills of Western Pennsylvania to recruit. However, as part of his evaluation, Smith had to note the only drawback, work ethic.
Fortunately for Simmons, a lot has changed over the years. He has a new head coach in Jim Ward, much improved grades, and a passion for football.
"I knew I could play, but I never really took football seriously, and my grades weren't really good," Simmons told GoBlueWolverine.
A lot of the credit for Simmons turn around goes to Coach Smith, who is known for running a very tight ship. An equal amount credit should be given to the young man himself for recognizing his opportunities beyond high school level and making the necessary adjustments.
"I had to get my act together," he said. "I used to skip out on practice, and stuff like that. Coach Smith helped me get back on the right track, and I've had my act together every since. My grades are good and everything."
Simmons is now reaping the benefits of all his hard work, as college coaches have been heading to McKeesport attempting to obtain his services.
"A lot of schools have been by to see me. West Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Rutgers, North Carolina, Maryland, Syracuse, and UConn are the main ones."
All those schools have offered except for the Huskies.
Simmons doesn't have a favorite team, but there is one program he knows the most about.
"I've been down to WVU, so I know a little about them. They have great facilities and coaches. I really noticed them when they had Pat White and Steve Slaton. My good friend Anthony Leonard plays for them, so he tells me about them, and what to expect as far as college life. He told me that WVU is the place to be, but I have to make my own decision, and that I have to be comfortable with the school I choose."
The hometown Panthers have made contact, but Simmons hasn't heard from them in awhile.
"They want me to come to a one day camp for my offer. They are the hometown team, so I thought they'd be my first scholarship offer. Coach Gattuso was at my school about three weeks ago to watch me workout, I haven't heard from them since."
Michigan offered the 6'5" 260 pound two-way lineman recently.
"Coach Gibson came by the school to talk with my coach. He watched my tape and liked it. After he took my tape back to Michigan for all the coaches to watch, they offered me. I don't know much about them, but at the BBQ at the Big House I'll be able to learn more about Michigan."
Simmons said that distance from home will not be a factor in his recruitment.
"My family is happy for me. My brother wants me to stay close to home so he can watch my games, but they'll support me regardless."
Hard work paying off for Delvon Simmons
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