Simmons took an official visit to Oxford over the weekend, and it couldn’t have gone better. He was hosted by his close friend and fellow 2016 Mississippi recruit Benito Jones, who enrolled at Ole Miss earlier this month.
“It went great,” he said. “I had a great time being with the other players. We had a great time. Now it’s just time to focus on my family and make sure I make the right decision. I’m close. Signing day is Wednesday. I’m going to talk to my coach tonight and tomorrow. By Tuesday, I should finalize everything.”
Simmons will announce his decision Wednesday morning at his school. He’s down to Ole Miss, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi State. His brother, Dylan Bradley, is a junior defensive lineman at Southern Miss. He’s eliminated the Golden Eagles.
“I know where I feel at home right now. But that’s where these next few days are for,” he said. “My mom told me whatever’s best for me, she’s going to be behind me 100 percent. (Bradley) just told me to do what’s best for me. Don’t listen to all the other things. Make my mom proud. They’re not going to tell me where to go. Just do what’s best for me.”
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Simmons is rated the No. 10 prospect in the country by Scout.com and the No. 2 defensive end. He was named a U.S. Army All-American after leading Noxubee County to a class 4A state title.
“Once your ranking goes up and everything get out, everybody’s going to come after you,” Simmons said. “(My recruitment) has (blown up), but at the same time, it’s not something I look at. I just keep doing what I do and grind.”
His postseason accolades also included his selection to the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic, where he was able to bond with Ole Miss commit D.K. Metcalf, Jones and others. Metcalf visited Ole Miss this weekend, too.
“It was nice,” Simmons said of the trip. “It’s home. Mississippi guy, it’s home. If I did choose to come here, it’d be a good fit. Me and Benito have been knowing each other for a good little while. That’s why he was my host. He’s a freshman here and we’ve been knowing each other.
“(Ole Miss) feels like home. Everywhere I go I’m loving it, but I really like Ole Miss, too.”
Simmons said each of his finalists have positives.
“I love all those schools,” he said. “They’re all great. If I did go, it’d be a great fit. But now it’s about where I feel more at home at. My mom’s on all the visits with me. I’m going to see what’s her opinion, but again, she said she’s not going to pick it for me.
“I would love to play with the big-time guys in Mississippi, but at the same time, that’s not going to be the real factor of my decision. Like (Ole Miss head) coach (Hugh) Freeze always says, in order to win championships, you have to get the players. But at the same time, I don’t want to make my decision because of somebody else. I’m going to make it because of me. It’s no big factor to me, but at the same time, it is.”
Simmons said the atmosphere is what he likes most about Ole Miss.
“The atmosphere I have every time I come up here,” he said. “It feels like a home visit. Just hanging out with the guys and feeling like you already fit in with them.”