Simon Receives Early Attention

Youngstown Cardinal Mooney's John Simon became the second junior to receive an Ohio State scholarship offer when he was offered after the Buckeye summer camp in June. Simon also has offers from some of the leading universities in America. Bill Greene has more on this fine prospect.

Youngstown Cardinal Mooney junior lineman Johnny Simon is already receiving a lot of attention from college recruiters. Simon was recently offered a scholarship by Jim Tressel and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Simon also has been offered by some of the top programs in the country.

"I was offered by Ohio State after their camp," Simon said. "I also have offers from LSU, Pittsburgh, Stanford and Illinois. All of the offers are verbal offers. It's been surprising to me to get this much attention already."

Simon admitted he has learned a lot about the recruiting process by watching teammates Dan McCarthy, Mike Zordich, Brandon Beachum and Taylor Hill go through their experiences. All of the previously mentioned players are being recruited by most of the top programs in the country.

"I think it has been great watching these guys go through it," Simon admitted. "It just proves that you have to work hard and strive to achieve your goals. These guys have all worked their tails off and they've come up big. I've seen how they do things and hopefully I can do the same."

Simon has obviously learned the value of succeeding in the classroom. He is a tremendous student and places a lot of importance on his education. Simon is also just as committed in the weight room and is constantly working to get stronger.

"I've always worked hard in the classroom," Simon said emphatically. "Last year I finished with a 3.7 GPA. I haven't taken the ACT yet. Since school ended I've been doing a lot of lifting and conditioning. I lift at home with my dad every day. I also lift at the school in the evenings. Right now I am 6' 3" and I weigh 268 pounds."

Although John Simon is one of the top junior prospects in Ohio, he's certainly not about to rest on his past success. He spoke about his strengths and weaknesses as a player and what he's working on to get better.

"I'm concentrating on my diet as I'm trying to put on more weight," Simon explained. "I'm lifting, running and doing overall conditioning to try to be a better football player. I'm also focusing on trying to get myself mentally ready for our upcoming season. I feel I have a lot of weak points right now. I'm trying to focus on those areas and try to make them my strongest points. I think my strength is how physical I play and the aggressive attitude I bring to each game. I try to physically dominate my opponent and keep people off me. I can even get better at that aspect of my game."

Although Simon still has two seasons of high school football ahead of him, he spoke about his future plans of attending college.

"It's a long way off but I still think about college occasionally," he said. "I'll probably get to games at Notre Dame and Ohio State this year. Right now I'm interested in all the schools that are talking with me. I've been to camps at Pitt, Notre Dame and Ohio State this summer. I met with all the coaching staffs and saw the facilities, and all three are great places. They're all recruiting me as a defensive lineman right now and that's where I see myself at the next level. I play both ways for Mooney but I think my future will be on defense."

Simon was impressed with Ohio State and talked about his thoughts on the Buckeyes.

"As a kid I never had a favorite team," Simon insisted. "My family always rooted for Ohio State and Notre Dame. I'm a fan of all teams really and just like watching the best games every week. My sister will be a freshman at Ohio State next spring. My sister and I get along real well but that won't play a part in my decision to attend college. I was at Ohio State last season and loved the atmosphere on game day. I think Jim Tressel is a great guy and one of the top coaches in the country. I respect how hard coach Tressel works at his job."

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