Programs Are Beginning To Eye Simmons

This past summer, before Jeremy Simmons was set to play his junior season, Alabama offensive coordinator Major Applewhite came by Clay County High in Ashland, Ala., and told the 6-foot-5, 330-pound offensive tackle, he'll be keeping an eye on him.

"He's the only coach that has been by," Simmons said.

That will change very soon.

Jeremy Simmons is on the radar of a lot of major college programs including Notre Dame, and will be one of the most sought after players in the state of Alabama in the 2009 recruiting class.

"They are probably in the top three of where I get a lot of my mail from," Simmons said. He also opens a lot of letters from the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Connecticut, Clemson and Houston, and is waiting for his first scholarship offer..

Clay County High has a nice prep football program. They've won six state titles, and advanced to the 3A state title game this fall, losing 21-13 to Cordova in a battle of two 14-0 teams. But they aren't really known for churning out Division I talent. Simmons is quickly changing that.

This past season, Simmons said he didn't allow a sack from his left tackle position, and that the offensive line as a whole only surrendered three. He said that was two more than the team gave up from his sophomore year.

"I just get after folks," Simmons stated, reporting a bench press of 315 pounds, and a very impressive 575-pound squat.

As nice a season as Simmons had, his coaches think he can be even better with a little more focus.

"Obviously his size and strength. that's definitely a plus," head coach Danny Horn said. "He's about 6-5, 325, and can run. Runs like a 5.25. When he wants to play, he is dominating. The problem is, he just doesn't do it all the time. I'm hoping he'll mature a little bit and understand he's got to play full-speed all the time."

"When he wants to be, he can be as dominating an offensive lineman as we've ever had," offensive line coach Kris Herron said.

Coaches like Applewhite realize that potential Simmons' coaches speak of.

In also trying to reach his full potential, Simmons would like to drop a few pounds, and is now beginning to meet with Herron and a few other returning linemen to run after school. The conditioning keeps on going right after that. Basketball practice is at 4:30 p.m. everyday.

"I'm running with him and trying to get down to 315, 310, and try and stay in that area," Simmons said. "I'll be alright with basketball afterwards."

"He's still got some of that baby fat on him," Herron said. "It wouldn't hurt him to drop 10 to 15 pounds."

Right now, Simmons favors Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Florida early in the recruiting process. He didn't know much about Notre Dame until they started sending mail.

"They would definitely be a school I'd be interested in," Simmons said. He added that he has a 3.0 GPA. "I've been reading a little something about them. I don't know too much about them. I know they have great tradition at their school and a very good coach." Top Stories