Simmons starred at defensive tackle for Southeast Raleigh High School in 2003, finishing the year with 80 tackles and 9 sacks while being named to the Shrine Bowl team. He didn't sign with any program on signing day and admits that he is just evaluating his options.
"I'm wide open," Simmons said. "I'm looking at NC State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Auburn, Miami... anybody right now to be honest with you. I know that Oklahoma's sent me an offer, and I've heard Tennessee and Miami have too. I just don't know for sure about those two yet."
Rumors have surfaced that the Oklahoma Sooners have emerged as the early leader for Simmons, but he claims that he is open to everyone. However, Oklahoma is a program that has definitely caught his attention.
"I really like their tradition," he said. "Oklahoma is one of the best programs in the country and they win a lot of games every year. Ever since [Barry] Switzer was there they've always won, and that's something you have to like."
NC State's another program that Simmons is high on. The Wolfpack hosted him on an official visit last January and has two current Southeast Raleigh alums on the roster in offensive linemen Leroy Harris and Yomi Ojo.
"I feel pretty good about NC State," Simmons said. "I think it's a very good program, and I wouldn't mind being a part of a program like that which is on the rise. I think the ACC is now a very good conference too."
Is NC State recruiting him as hard as the other schools?
"Honestly, I haven't heard from NC State since January," Simmons said. "I don't know what's going on, but I'm still interested in them."
Simmons hopes to take all five official visits before making his college decision. He's in no hurry and hopes that a terrific year at Hargrave will only bolster his stock.
At 6'5 and 305 pounds, he is one of the most physically imposing players on Hargrave's roster. Simmons is being recruited by most programs as a defensive tackle, however one likes him as an offensive lineman.
"Actually, NC State's the only school recruiting me as an offensive lineman," he said. "I kind of prefer defense, but maybe one day I'll wake up and like the offensive line better. I do think I could be a good offense lineman though."