Ohio State might have lost out on the services of one of the nation's top safety prospects, but that has not stopped them from pursuing other targets. One of those other players on OSU's recruiting board hails from the state of Georgia – a place the Buckeyes have experienced recent recruiting success.
College Park (Ga.) Banneker safety prospect Darrell Simmons was slated to take an unofficial visit last week to check out OSU, but a team commitment prevented him from doing so.
"Our team had a seven-on-seven passing camp, so I couldn't make it," he told BuckeyeSports.com.
A safety prospect who also lines up at quarterback in high school, Simmons said the Buckeyes have been recruiting him since April. His primary contact is safeties coach Paul Haynes, who spoke with him "last week," Simmons said.
"Coach Haynes said I'm one of the best safety prospects he's seen in the country," he said. "He said I could come in and see definite playing time at Ohio State. It feels great. It's just something I've been waiting for a long time and my dream is finally coming true."
While his last attempt to visit OSU did not work out, Simmons is planning at least one more trip to Columbus. The 6-2, 194-pound prospect plans on taking an official visit there this fall and could still take an unofficial visit to OSU this summer.
For now, though, he said his focus is on preparing himself for his senior season.
Despite growing up as a fan of the Miami Hurricanes, Simmons said he remembers watching the Buckeyes on television as he was growing up.
"I used to watch Ohio State a little bit when I was a kid," he said. "I grew up rooting for Miami, but I watched Eddie George play at Ohio State.
"Ohio State, they have a good winning tradition. I like what the coaches have said to me about Ohio State, and I would love to be a part of something like that. They're always winning. I like how they put players in the NFL."
As a junior, Simmons recorded 80 tackles – 8 for loss – and 3 sacks. He also boasts a 32-inch vertical leap.
When asked what his top factors will be when selecting a college, Simmons said, "My mom, education and will I play right away?"