DT/OL Brian Simmons (6-5, 305 pounds) is a standout lineman at Hargrave Military Academy. Simmons played his high school football at SE Raleigh (NC) High School and was one of the state's top linemen, finishing off his senior year with a selection to the Shrine Bowl. Now, a starting DT for Hargrave, Simmons has seen recruiting take off this season with numerous major programs making contact. Pack Pride caught up with Simmons recently for the latest on his season and recruiting.
How has your season gone so far and what kind of stats have you put up?
"My season has gone pretty well. I am learning so much everyday. This is only my third year of playing football so I'm kind of behind others in experience. Coach P (Hargrave head coach Robert Prunty) really makes the D-line focus on technique up here. To be honest with you, up here we really don't keep up with stats. I haven't heard that word come out of any of the coaches mouths. I have been doing well though. If I'm not making the play, I'm disrupting the blocking scheme making the linebacker's job easier."
Do you get a chance to line up next to Willie Young on defense?
"Well, up here we can play on either side but for some reason I have lined up beside Willie most of the time. It just happens. He is fun to play with, and very energetic. He's so quick, Willie reminds me of Jevon Kearse before he added on his weight at Florida. Once Willie beefs up I think he will be close to unstoppable. NC State is getting a good one in Willie."
What schools are showing a lot of interest and who has offered you a scholarship?
"Virginia Tech came to watch us practice on the 17th. I had a good practice and I guess they liked what they saw. They offered me and I think Missouri is on the verge of offering me. They came to watch us practice too. Tennessee came on the 24th. I'm hearing from more and more schools by the week. I have even heard from the University of Washington. I think a lot of schools are waiting to see what happens, and then they will offer. As I've said before, I am qualified. I have the SAT score and the GPA I just need to graduate."
How about NC State? What's going on with the Pack?
"Well I hadn't heard from State for a while until I came to the OSU game. To be honest, I don't know how State feels about me right now. I know the last time I talked to them they were wanting me to play on the offensive line. State does have a lot of good things I like about them. It's practically in my back yard, and I have several friends that play on the team. Then my cousin Cedric (Simmons) plays basketball for State so it would seem like a nice fit for me. But I am going to keep my options open."
Has any team emerged as a favorite for you?
"As of now Oklahoma is still at the top. I just really like that program, and I liked the way they approached me. And I seem to really click with Jackie Shipp (Defensive Tackle coach). I feel like I've known him my entire life. I talk to him about twice a week and they have showed me great interest all summer."
Have you been able to set up any official visits yet?
"Only one and that is Oklahoma. It will be on Nov. 13th. It's very hard to go on visits during the season while up here at Hargrave. I do plan to go on all five visits though. I would like to set up visits to Miami, and Georgia."