2016 Intro: Keith Simms

Bethesda, Md., Landon School junior is picking up interest in and out of state, and has a July visit set.

Keith Simms has been evaluated as a tight end, a defensive end and an outside linebacker.

Perhaps it’s because his 6-foot-3, 225-pound build has college coaches excited not just because of what he looks like, but also what he could look like. Or, maybe it’s simply chalked up to his progression from freshman to sophomore year.

Either way, the Bethesda, Md., Landon School Class of 2016 talent is gathering interest. Penn State, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia Tech have displayed most of it so far. He’ll visit the Nittany Lions July 19-20 with fellow Maryland native and Penn State Class of 2015 commit Jon Holland.

“I’ve been in contact with them since the spring,” Simms said of the Lions. “[Running backs] Coach [Charles] Huff visited my school, and I still talk with him and also [defensive line] Coach [Sean] Spencer.”

Simms talks to Huff the most, but said both coaches pack plenty of energy when it’s time to chat.

“When I talked to Coach Spencer, he told me about the scheme and how I would fit,” Simms said. “He said [Jon and I] have similar attributes as far as football goes, and that we are both the prototype for what we’re looking for.

“Then with Coach Huff, when he came to my school, he was really direct and sincere, and he seemed like he had a lot of interest in me. We had a good conversation and we connected.”

Holland has also connected, and his trip with Simms put an end to speculation he would visit Florida State the same weekend.

Instead, he and Simms will arrive July 19 and camp the 20th. Simms said Holland knows the program and campus well, which makes visiting with him extra special.

“He’s been up there a lot and he definitely knows the campus and stuff,” Simms said. “It will be a good hands-on experience for me. I’ve heard good things about the stadium, the school, and the atmosphere and everything that goes on with the fans.

“I’m excited to get up there and see what it’s like to be a Penn State football player. I want to show the coaches what I can do and hopefully get an offer.”

“I’m excited to get up there and see what it’s like to be a Penn State football player. I want to show the coaches what I can do and hopefully get an offer.”

Maryland has showed the in-state prospect plenty of interest, as well. Simms said his home, which is right down the street from College Park, has led to early interest in the Terps.

The defensive end visited for Maryland’s spring game, and is eyeing another visit to campus for a game this fall.

“It’s right down the street, which is a good thing,” Simms said. “I grew up watching Maryland football, and they were just talking about seeing me on film and then they saw me in person at school.

“They’re going to look at me some more during the season to determine if I’m an offer guy.”

The same philosophy has applied at Illinois, where outside linebacker’s coach AL Seamonson has led the charge after seeing Simms on film.

“We have a good relationship and we talk about once a week,” Simms said. “I was supposed to go on a visit but couldn’t make it.

“I’m definitely going to try to get up there. He was saying that he felt I would be a good fit [for their 3-4 defense] and for academics.”

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