Talks To Jack Simmons

Jack Simmons, a 6-foot-6 freshman from Mundelein (IL) Carmel, was named all-conference, all-area Coaches Association, All-State and Lake County Pioneer Press Player of the Year after leading the Corsairs to an undefeated 14-0 season, that was capped off by the team's first ever state championship. He will follow in his father Terry's footstep. Terry lettered for the Gophers from 1977-79. caught up with Simmons, who has added nearly 25 pounds since last season.

Talk about your summer. Obviously you worked hard to bulk up from 215 pounds to 237.
"I came up to Minnesota on August 7. I stayed home this summer and worked out with a company called Full Package Athletics. They train professional basketball players and stuff like that. I worked with them as a summer job and then had one of the trainers train me. It really helped me develop as a football player. My trainer was a high school and college football player."
You played both sides of the field in high school. Is it going to be tough to give that up to just play tight end?
"It will be different. I'm not used to coming to the sidelines and resting. It will be something new and different, but it will also be exciting."
The preseason magazines are out and the expectations are high on this year's team. What are your expectations for this year?
"I think that definitely this team could be a Big Ten champion and in the Rose Bowl, from the attitudes in the meetings and stuff like that. Everyone is really focused and that is something that is really impressive. It kind of reminds me of being in high school because that was the same type of attitude that we had, so it is nice to come back to the same kind of atmosphere."
It will be tough if you guys lose since you have not lost for over a year.
"I know. It will be difficult. But, we are not planning on losing. We are planning on taking care of Toledo and moving on from there."
What are your expectations for yourself as a freshman?
"Of course I want to play. I would rather not redshirt, but whatever cards come my way, I want to work hard and be able to help the team."
Are your parents planning to come to most of the home games?
"They'll be at almost all the home games that they can, if it is not conflicting with the Carmel high school games. My brother, Colin, is a junior and will start at middle linebacker for them. Most of their games are on Friday night, so that helps."
What are the expectations for your high school team? They lost you and your quarterback and a lot of the linemen?
"They will actually have a pretty decent team. The offensive line is a bit of a question mark, but they had a kid transfer in at quarterback from Round Lake, who is big and runs the ball well and throws the ball. They are looking at going at like 8-1, second place in the conference. Hopefully, they can keep it up."

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