Simmons doesn't claim any favorite schools. The 6-foot-1, 255-pounder plans on winnowing down his list of over 20 scholarship offers towards the end of the summer. He'll make a verbal commitment after taking a few in-season official visits.
"I'm looking for a good education program – education is first, definitely," Simmons said. "The way me and my family feel about the coaching staff and campus is important, and how much playing time I'm going to get coming in."
In addition to UNC, Simmons has visited Clemson, NC State, Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. He figures to visit Alabama and Ohio State soon, as well as making a return to Clemson for a game.
Simmons's most recent visit to UNC occurred in February. He attended the Tar Heels' Junior Day, which was held in conjunction with the basketball game against Duke.
"That was definitely a unique junior day," Simmons said. "They had cameras, they had a [Carolina] Blue carpet – basically, they showed you the life of a big named athlete and big-time players and how the life would be if you actually got blessed to play in the big-time."
The "big-time" theme of UNC's junior day changed Simmons's perception of the school.
"It let me know that they see me playing big ball and going to the next level," Simmons said.
After all the glitz and glamour, Simmons and the other junior day attendees were escorted to the Smith Center for the UNC-Duke basketball game, which ended in a Tar Heel victory.
"It was definitely crazy," Simmons said. "That was a bucket list game. You can't really top it – not that I know of."
Despite having a long drive home on a school night, Simmons stayed for the entire game and even a little after in order to rush the court.
"It was crazy," Simmons said. "You see the students run on the court. All the recruits looked at each other and we were like ‘Forget it' and we all just ran down there and got loud with the fans. It was just the overall great experience."
The junior day was Simmons's second visit to UNC. He previously visited the campus as a sophomore when the Tar Heels hosted Virginia Tech in football.
"It was definitely a great atmosphere," Simmons said. "They have fantastic fans down there."
Simmons ended his junior season with 106 tackles, including 20 for a loss, six pass breakups, four interceptions, and a forced fumble.