Having a mentor like former Penn State All-American LaVar Arrington is a plus for four-star defensive end Shane Simmons when it comes to NFL potential. But there is much more to it than that.
At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Simmons is an elite athlete. People tend to focus on his reported 4.78-second 40, which may not be eye-popping. But let us know the last time you saw a pass rusher having to cover 40 yards to get to the quarterback.
Simmons is super quick. In the first time he tests as a Nittany Lion, don't be surprised if he makes a run at the program record for fastest NFL shuttle by a defensive lineman. He has already clocked a sub-4.2, which would top the list. That's the kind of quickness you see from the top defensive ends and pass-rushing outside linebackers in the NFL. Did you happen to catch the Super Bowl last night?
Simmons has the sort of frame that can carry another 30 pounds. He also has extremely long arms — probably the longest in the class — and huge hands.
Beyond that, he played at a high school power (DeMatha Catholic) that faced excellent competition, and then turned heads by dominating against the best of the best in practices leading up to the Under Armour All-America Game.
Getting back to Arrington, it would be a mistake to understate that relationship. Simmons has been working out with and receiving guidance from a seven-season NFL veteran, dynamic personality and very smart guy (Google Arrington's net worth) for years now.