Johnny Simon: 2009 Prospect

Cardinal Mooney High School (Youngstown, Ohio) has a lot of talent on their 2007 squad, but it isn't all in their senior class. The Irish did land a commitment from Dan McCarthy earlier this summer, and they'll be back at Mooney to recruit junior defensive line prospect Johnny Simon.

When Notre Dame starts looking for top defensive linemen for their 2009 recruiting class, Johnny Simon (6-foot-3 ,266 pounds)might be at the top of the list. Simon will not only be one of the top defensive line prospects in Ohio, but he might be one of the top in the country next year.

"I'm playing defensive end and offensive tackle, but I'll go to college for defense," Simon responded when asked which position he preferred to play. "I have no idea what position I'd play, it's really wherever the coaches would want me. Anywhere on defense, it doesn't matter to me."

Irish coaches already know what Simon can so, as they got a chance to see him in action this summer at their football camp.

"I went up to the camp this summer," he explained "I talked to everyone up there. I loved the campus. It's a beautiful campus and the coaches are great. I had a great time up there and I learned a lot. It was a great experience.

"I was over there as a little kid, but that was the first time that I got a tour of campus and got to see everything. It was really nice…very beautiful.

"They've stayed in touch," Simon explained. "I've had some contact with them. I've been talking to coach Brian Polian. He's a great guy. I'm very interested in Notre Dame.

Simon has been receiving attention from some of the top programs already, so the Irish will have their plenty of competition as this recruiting race heats up.

"Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Iowa, Pitt are the big ones," Simon responded when asked which schools he was hearing from. "I've got a few early favorites I like Ohio State, Notre Dame… I like Notre Dame for sure, Pitt and Penn State.

"I like them all. I'll go on a few trips [this fall] and visit a few schools that I want to see. I'm going to figure out which one is best for me, but right now I'm going to focus on Mooney football and I'll worry about all of that after the season."

Mooney football got off to a solid start last Friday as they beat Mentor High School by the score of 21-10. The Cardinals will get another big test this weekend as they take on perennial Pennsylvania powerhouse Gateway.

"I thought I did pretty well," Simon said of his performance in the Mooney opener. " I got in the backfield, I got a couple of sacks and hurried the quarterback, but I wouldn't have been able to anything if our defensive line wouldn't have opened some holes for the linebackers to come on blitzes. The whole team played great.

"We've watched film on Gateway and they're a great team. They have a lot of DI talent, so they're going to be tough to beat we're going to do what we can to win. You can't single anyone out on that team because they have a lot of good players, but [Shayne Hale] is a great player. I'm looking forward to playing against him."


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