"Coach McDonald was recruiting me when he was at Syracuse," said Simmons. "They weren't recruiting me as hard as coach McDonald wanted too though. He told me that as soon as he got the job at NC State he checked in on me because he really wanted me to go there with him... he wanted me to be his first recruit."
NC State nearly didn't land Simmons.
Originally, he planned to visit the Wolfpack this weekend, but a great trip to Central Florida changed his plans.
"I had a great time at Central Florida," he said. "The visit was great and the coaches told me they had six or seven recruits coming in and only two spots left, so they wanted me to make a decision. I liked it so much, and I knew I had to make a decision... I nearly committed.
"When I got home from Central Florida I talked with my parents and we decided to drive to NC State and go ahead and visit so I could make a quicker decision. Honestly, I didn't have any intention of committing to NC State. I really liked UCF."
NC State must have made a positive impression on Simmons.
"It was unreal," he said. "We drove down and met with coach McDonald the next day. We drove over to the facility and I met with all the coaches. We spent the day down there and drove back up.
"At that point, I had my mind made up of what I wanted to do. I went from not even really wanting to visit to committing to NC State. I mean, I didn't expect to commit, but it was just too nice."
What stood out to Simmons about the Wolfpack?
"I love the coaches," said Simmons. "Coach Doeren and coach McDonald are genuine people, and I have a good relationship with both. They made me feel comfortable, and I didn't even second-guess it.
"Plus, the facilities are ridiculous."
The Wolfpack lost two receivers following their bowl game, but that didn't really factor into the decision for Simmons.
"They are a young team," he said. "They are going to have young guys that have a lot of years to play. As far as playing early, they said I'll have an opportunity just like anybody else, but it will be up to me."
Simmons picked the Wolfpack over offers from Rutgers, UCF, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Purdue, Wake Forest, Cal, and Virginia among others.
He committed to Rutgers in October before opening back up his recruitment.
"I'm done," he stated. "I'm fully committed to NC State, and I'm really not interested in anybody else. As soon as I picked Rutgers I was kind of nervous about it, but with NC State I'm fully comfortable and it's where I belong."
A three-star recruit, Simmons totaled 49 catches for 707 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also added 131 yards rushing and five special teams touchdowns.
He is rated the No. 130 wideout in the country by Scout.com.