Nebraska firmly in top six

On his offers alone, one could argue that Denton Simek is one of the top prospects in Oklahoma this year. And as the summer heats up around the country, so has his recruitment. In this latest update, Denton talks about his recruitment and the teams standing out to the talented big man to this point.

Many high school kids take it easy on their summer break, some also get out there and try to be productive as well. Such is the case with Denton Simek from Prague high school in Prague (Okla.), and he also plans to make a few bucks while he's at it.

"I've been hauling hay all day the last few days. Me and my buddy have a hay hauling business, we are just trying to make a little extra money. We just work at the local ranches around here. They bail it then we come in and haul it, it's not too bad. But it was about 98 degrees when we were out there today, so that makes it a little tougher. I like doing it though, it helps keep me in shape."

But when high school does start back up, Denton says his primary focus his senior year will be football, but he is considering hitting the hardwood too.

"Football will probably be all I play my last year, but I've been thinking I might play basketball too. They could use a guy my size (6-6/270) out there. They want me and some of the other football players to come out and play basketball, to help the team out. But my main focus will be football for sure."

Speaking of your high school squad, do you expect big things this year from your football team?

"We have a lot of young kids playing, but if we are anything less than state champions, I feel we have underachieved. My little brother (Clint Simek) will be the starting quarterback and he is only a sophomore. He tore is ACL last year as a freshman. He had a rough start last year before the injury. But he ran for a 60 yard touchdown on his first play at quarterback. He scored two more touchdowns on the next two drives but then some guy came from the backside and took him out, so he was done for the year."

What about your little brother, is he a star in the making?

"He is definitely going to be a stud. He is already almost 6-foot-4, and he can throw and run. I think he will get a lot of offers when the time comes."

What about your skill sets, talk a little bit about that.

"I can run and pass block equally good, that's what the coaches tell me they like about me. I never quit on a play and I always try to beat up my opponent. Just play relentless, that all I know how to do."

And on the recruiting front, offers have been coming in from across the country.

"I can't even remember how many I have now. Some of the big ones are Nebraska, Arizona, Colorado, Baylor, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Iowa State, Duke and I have a few others. But those are the major ones I'm looking into."

That sounds like a long list to choose from, have you narrowed things down or are you still open to everybody?

"It's down to Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Arizona and Louisville. I figured I would go ahead and list a top six to keep some of the calls down."

Denton then talked about the interest from Nebraska, and how it all got going.

"Coach Cotton called my coach a couple weeks ago and said he heard about me, so my coach sent him some film. Then when I spoke to coach Cotton he asked me why I haven't committed yet with so many good offers. He didn't think they (NU) had a chance because both Oklahoma schools are coming after me and I had all these other offers.

"But I told him, I'm not anywhere close to making a decision and everybody still has a chance. After that coach Cotton came down to practice to watch me, that was on a Friday. That next Monday I had the offer, it happened pretty fast.

"After that I called coach Cotton and we had a nice conversation. He said he loved me as a player and a person and thought I could bring a lot to the Nebraska program. He said he wants guys that will compete and that is how I play. He said coach Pelini loved the way I play and wanted me too."

And he's also already got an up-close look at what the Huskers have to offer, as he accompanied his little brother to the quarterback camp in Lincoln.

"My brother Clint participated in the quarterback camp at Nebraska and I went up there for an unofficial visit too. I toured all the facilities while I was there and we talked a lot about academics. They set me up with the academic advisor, the life skills advisor, a personal trainer and the head of sports medicine.

"Everything there was amazing, especially the football facilities. Oklahoma State can talk about all that stuff they want to build, but Nebraska has had all that stuff for 30 years. Nebraska invented strength and conditioning."

What about coach Cotton, did you meet him face-to-face? What were your thoughts of him as your possible position coach?

"He is a great guy and I like coach Cotton a lot. He is a real knowledgeable guy and I know he would take care of me. I know he played at Nebraska and has a son already there, so he knows a lot about the program. I would love to have coach Cotton as my position coach."

Before the interest from the Huskers picked up, did you know anything about the program itself?

"Everybody around here knows about Nebraska football. My pastor at church is a huge, I mean huge Nebraska fan. We always watched Nebraska games with him. I know back in the 90's it was Nebraska, then everybody else. Seemed like they were winning the national championship every year.

"But I didn't know how good their academics were until recently, and their academics are second to none."

Denton said it's a mixed bag when talking about his position at the college level. Some schools like him inside at guard, others out at tackle, and some even like him on defense.

"I've heard from some schools they like me at both tackle and guard, and some like me on the defensive line. I'm pretty sure Arizona and Arkansas like me on defense and Nebraska likes me on offense. It doesn't matter to me, I think I could play all three."

What are some of the specific things you're looking for in a program?

"The coaches are the most important thing to me. I want to play for a really good staff that knows what their doing. I want to play for a team that wants to get better everyday, always striving to be better. I think that is important at every level of football. You can never be satisfied with where you're at, you always need to improve. That's how I think so I want to be around people that think the same way.

"Academics (3.8 GPA) are big too. I want a degree in sports management or sports business, maybe be and agent one day," laughed Simek. "Or possibly a physical trainer or some kind of sports medicine, I'm not sure just yet."

Denton has no timeframe for a decision and says he will go on a "gut feel". Big Red Report will check back in with Denton periodically through the summer and bring you the latest as it comes in.

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