The commitment of Jimmaul Simmons to NC State back in November caught a few Wolfpack fans by surprise. The 6-3, 205 pound defender with 4.51-second speed in the 40-yard dash was a standout for Hargrave Military Academy this past season but little was known about him until he pledged to the Pack a little over a month ago. Since then, the Pack has had a coaching change which is crucial to Simmons since he is on an abbreviated recruiting schedule due to the fact he will enroll in college next month. Pack Pride caught up with Simmons to see if he still plans to sign with the Pack in January.
"Yes sir, I'm still committed," said Simmons. "I haven't had a chance to talk to coach O'Brien yet but I've talked with coach Cignetti. I'm supposed to come up on January 5th and meet with the coaches. Coach Cignetti said they want to get me enrolled and ready for spring practice. I still feel good about choosing NC State. I know a lot of things might change but it may be for the better."
Simmons spent this past year at free safety and cornerback and Hargrave head coach Robert Prunty recently told Pack Pride that his talented DB should continue the successful pipeline from tiny Chatham, Va to Raleigh.
"He's 207 pounds, he doesn't look like it but he is," said Prunty. "He started for us at safety, and he's going to be a great one. Trust me. Before he ends up I think he'll be a great outside linebacker down at State. He won't be any different than some of the others we've been fortunate enough to have play in Raleigh.
"Jimmaul comes from great pedigree too. His uncle is Clyde Simmons, who played linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, and his dad played at Wake Forest. So he has that toughness in him. I'm telling you, he's a player."
Simmons told Pack Pride that the State coaches originally projected him to outside linebacker but there's been a change as of late.
"They were recruiting me as an OLB," said Simmons. "But when I talked to coach Cignetti, he said they were going to start me out at safety."
Simmons will also help to keep open a well-established pipeline to Wilmington, NC. Originally from New Hanover High School, he will join fellow Wilmington natives Geron James, Nathan Franklin, Meares Green and Levin Neal in 2007. Simmons will also be reunited with a former teammate from New Hanover High School as well.
"I've talked to George Bryan and he's real excited about coming to NC State," he said. "The coaching change didn't seem to bother him at all and he's still planning to be at NC State."