Jeffery Simmons talks Ole Miss/Alabama game

Jeffery Simmons out of Noxubee County, Miss., attended the Ole Miss/Alabama game Saturday. What were his thoughts?

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"That was the first time I have ever gone to an Alabama football game," Simmons said. "It was a crazy environment. I was shocked at how loud it was in their stadium. The music they played was deafening. It was nice to finally get a chance to go to one of their games."

The outcome of the game surprised many but not Scout's No. 36 overall rated prospect, Jeffery Simmons.

"Game wise I predicted Ole Miss would win because of their quarterback. Alabama's quarterbacks are not consistent and Chad Kelly is very consistent. Alabama has a great defense, and so does Ole Miss, but the quarterback leads the team. Chad Kelly had no turnovers. Their quarterbacks had three. I just feel felt like Ole Miss had the better team because of Chad so I predicted them to win to some reporter before the game started. I guess I was right."

Despite the loss he was very impressed with the Alabama's game day atmosphere.

"The atmosphere stood out to me the most about my trip. When I first walked into the stadium it was so loud. That's what caught my attention about Alabama."

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive lineman tried to not root for either team during the game but the Mississippi roots came out in him from time to time.

"I didn't go there to root for either team. I did predict Ole Miss to win but I was Alabama's guest. I tried to keep it classy, but when Ole Miss was making plays I did get excited. I had to remind myself that I'm in Alabama, and I'm their guest, and to not cheer out loud. I wanted to be respectful."


The 4-Star recruit watched closely at the way Alabama used D.J. Pettway and Ole Miss used Robert Nkemdiche.

"Most of the game I just watched the defensive lines for both teams. I especially watched how they used Robert (Nkemdiche). They want to use me the same way they use Robert. On the Alabama side of the ball I watched Pettway because that's how they want to use me too. Robert, he can play the run and they let him get after the passer. I just watched how he beat all of those double teams. I see a lot of things I need to work on to beat those double teams. I really try and pattern my game after Robert. He makes it look so easy. Pettway, they like for him to come off of the edge and stop the run. He's really good too."

The Alabama coaches were disappointed about the outcome of the game but spent a lot of time with Simmons anyway.

"I got a chance to talk to coach (Nick) Saban before and after the game. He came over to me and told me they are losing a lot of defensive linemen this year. He told me I was needed. But really he talked about their turnovers. He felt like they should have won but the turnovers cost them the game. You could tell he was really upset about it. He talked about that a lot."

This Saturday Jeffery will watch the Rebels play in Oxford.

"I have been up there so much. I just want to try and get closer with their coaches. I hang out with coach (Chris) Kiffin so much. I already know so much about them, really. I'm going to pay attention to the detail with my relationship with them. I want to see if they treat me the same way they have on the rest of my visits. They always treat me the same way. I want to see if they treat me the same way with all of their other recruits there. I doubt anything will change, but I'm curious if thestill treat me like they always have when the rest of the recruits are around. I feel like I know so much about Ole Miss already so it really comes down to my relationship with their coaches. So far, so good."

Jeffery's mother has not had a chance to attend any of his recruiting trips in the past. This weekend will most likely be her first.

"We go down to USM to see my brother Dylan Bradley play, but she has never been anywhere else. She's probably coming with me this weekend. She wants to see everything for herself. She likes their coaches. Now she wants to see their campus."

What does his brother say about Simmons' recruiting process?

"He told me to take my time and to not rush into a decision. He's not pushing USM on me. He wants me to choose the best school for me. He's neutral on where he wants me to go."

Jeffery's stat line through five games look like most defensive lineman's season ending stats. Scout's No. 6 rated defensive end has 64 tackles, 10 sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss, seven quarterback hurries, two blocked punts and field goals, and three caused fumbles.

"I think the work I put in the off season is really showing. It started back in December after we won the State Championship. I worked hard in the weight room and put on about 25 pounds. I have become a better leader by never taking a snap off in practice. They see me working hard and it feeds to the next player. I started using my hands more this year. I'm stronger and more explosive now. I've gotten stronger in my legs and that helps me coming off of the edge."

Jeffery will play in the Army All-American bowl in January and will most likely make a final decision around that date.


Yancy Porter is the recruiitng analyst for the Ole Miss Spirit and he can be reached at yporter@scout.com







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