The Bethesda, Md., Landon School 2016 end was on hand for the Lions 48-7 win over UMass. He saw stellar line play — including an Austin Johnson fumble recovery — and learned about head coach James Franklin and the program’s traditions while taking in a packed Beaver Stadium.
“I think they are very close to offering,” Simms said. “They just said to keep Penn State in my top choices. I really hope [they offer]. I had a great time.”
Simms is close with Penn State Class of 2015 commit Jon Holland, which is one of the reasons he desires a PSU offer. The junior and senior stayed overnight together, and hope to return to University Park again soon.
The reasons are many: Simms said he had chills walking out of the south end zone tunnel to watch warmups, and they returned every time the 99,155 on hand erupted for a big Nittany Lion play.
Besides the atmosphere, the end also was impressed with Franklin, defensive line coach Sean Spencer, and Maryland recruiter and running backs coach Charles Huff. Simms said he had the chance to speak with all three while on campus.
“Coach Spencer said they like guys that get after the quarterback, and he said to keep up the good work,” Simms said. “They were also talking about where they would see me fitting in, saying how a lot of it was dependent upon genetics based on if I get any taller or bigger, and whether I would be a linebacker or defensive end.”
Simms added the visit was better than he thought it would be. That was hard to imagine before he arrived, considering how high a bar had been set thanks to Holland often telling him about the program.
“I really enjoyed myself,” Simms said. “I really liked when I walked into the stadium. When you’re there, it’s a different experience. I liked the players on the team and had a really good time.”
“I really enjoyed myself. I really liked when I walked into the stadium. When you’re there, it’s a different experience. I liked the players on the team and had a really good time.”
That affection carries over to the coaching staff; the same one he hopes will extend an offer to him.
“I really like the whole concept of what Coach Franklin and the staff are trying to do with bringing the best kids from this area and having them go to one school to dominate,” Simms said. “A lot of Southern schools are like that when they say ‘our house,’ and I really liked the idea and what he is trying to do.”