Ryan Simmons: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com interviewed the high school coach for each of the Oklahoma State commitments in the days leading up to National Signing Day. In this installment of "His Coach's Take," we visit with Steele High School head coach Mike Jinks about Ryan Simmons, a 6-1, 220-pound linebacker from Cibolo, Texas.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Mike Jinks: Ryan's strengths as a football player are first and foremost his work ethic. Ryan will not be outworked. He's a very physical young man. He has great instincts, he has a great feel for the ballgame. To me, it's the intangibles. Once you get to that level, all the kids have a certain skill set but the kids that go on and succeed are the kids that have those nuances and intangibles. I think you've not only got a guy that's going to be a leader on the football field but also in the locker room.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Mike Jinks: The game is faster. He'll have to get used to the speed. He has great aptitude but there may be a learning curve there but I guarantee you that it won't take long.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Mike Jinks: We were playing Southwest in week four or five in a non-district game and it's a dogfight. In the third quarter he picks the ball off with his left hand ... it was a one-hand from catch to tuck that he ran in for a touchdown. It was just unbelievable. He has the ability to just put his hand up, grab it out of the air and run it back for the game. It was pretty amazing.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Mike Jinks: Passionate, intense, and humble

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Mike Jinks: Ryan called me Saturday morning after being there Friday (on his official visit). Ryan and his family are people of faith, and he just said there were some things that happened that weekend during conversations with his family and the coaches, and he said he thought he was around people that shared that belief. He said he felt like it was home.

What type of impact do you expect him to have on the OSU football program?
Mike Jinks: An immediate one, and I'm not just talking on the football field. They're getting a high character kid that's going to be an asset to the football team but also the community.

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Mike Jinks: The sky is the limit for Ryan. Just like it was here. Ryan was two-time District Player of the Year and two-time All-State. I see him doing the same thing there. He's capable of being an All-Big 12 performer and later on in his career, possibly by the time he's a senior, being an All-America football player.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Mike Jinks: We had his older brother, Aaron, who was a running back, and when Aaron was a senior it was Ryan's eighth grade year, so Ryan would always be around. We had 7-on-7 tournaments on Wednesday's throughout the summer and Aaron would bring his little brother with him. The very first Wednesday that summer I remember him sitting on the bleachers balling and crying because I wouldn't let him play. He was just in the eighth grade and it was illegal, but he couldn't understand that. He wanted to be out there with everybody else. He was just balling like a little kid, and that's what I'll always remember. From that point on he was always around. He was the last one to leave the facility. He's earned all the great things that are happening to him.

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