"Joey Jinwright, who has been helping his cousin Cedric Simmons navigate through the NBA draft process, informed DraftExpress on Saturday that Simmons has hired the services of an agent and will be forfeiting his remaining two years of college eligibility at NC State.
"Simmons has been working out over the past few weeks in the New York area and will begin private workouts with NBA teams starting this week."
This announcement shouldn't come as a surprise. Simmons had been leaning towards staying in the draft all along and is now considered a lock to be selected in the first round.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound center averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks as a sophomore, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors. Simmons was also named to the 2005-06 ACC All-Defensive Team.
Last month, Pack Pride spoke with an anonymous NBA scout about the chances Simmons had of being selected in the first round of the 2006 Draft.
"Can he be a first-round lock? Sure, if he has several good workouts," the scout stated. "He's got a lot of upside because of his length, athleticism, wingspan, and shot-blocking ability.
"However, I do think it would benefit him to spend another year in college. He could continue to develop his offensive package and would likely project much higher in the 2007 draft."
Several mock drafts recently have had Simmons being picked in the top 20 of the draft, with one service tabbing the athletic prospect as the No. 10 overall pick.