Coaching Spotlight: Matt Simon

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The coaching spotlight continues with a look at graduate assistant Matt Simon, who is in charge of coaching wide receivers. Simon is in his second year with Rutgers but first as an on-field position coach.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – When Matt Simon got word he was moving from a behind-the-scenes role in player development to an on-field coaching position, the excitement was natural.

A former wide receiver and team captain at Northern Illinois, Simon took one look at the Rutgers receivers and could not wait to get started.

Rutgers has more four-star recruits than seniors at wide receiver and Simon is ready to add his expertise to the mix.

"I'm very detail oriented," Simon said. "We, as a staff, are very particular about the way we want things to look. It's a step-by-step method. We have a standardized formula and we want to bring guys in that care about the details and want to improve."

The talent upgrade at receiver is obvious, Simon said, with the players already in the program and the recruits brought in during Flood's first two years in charge. Receiver talent is not hard to find in modern recruiting, but a group with the Rutgers mindset makes this one stand out, Simon said.

"Above all, they're a hard-working group," Simon said. "They want to learn. They're hungry. We're not the oldest group by any means. We're young, but we're not immature. We're a group of guys that understand the flow of college football. They're willing to work and that's the best thing that we have going for us as a position group."

All-America candidate Brandon Coleman goes into his junior year with a new position coach in Simon, but the two work well together and hit it off early.

"Brandon, with his work ethic and the way he prepares, at this point is a profession," Simon said. "He's dying to get back on the field and help out his team. It's a blessing to be able to be around a guy like him who acts like a complete professional."

Simon is a former member of the New Orleans Saints but is in his first year as a position coach after stints at Northern Illinois and St. Thomas (Minn.) as an assistant. Simon does not recruit on the road but is involved in on-campus recruiting visits.

"It's been great," Simon said. "For me, I'm just taking in as much as I can, learning from guys like [offensive coordinator Ron] Prince, [associate head] coach [Norries] Wilson and everyone. I'm just taking in as much as I can, and coach Flood is phenomenal to work for. He's the best boss out there. He has a very clear vision of what he wants, and it's been great to have been a part of it."

Simon said he is thankful Flood took a chance on him and promoted him to a bigger role. His background matches what Flood wants to build at Rutgers, he said.

"You talk about sacrifice and love as being part of a team and that's the core of what coach Flood's family vision for Rutgers is about," Simon said. "It's something everyone should want to be a part of."

The decision to hire Prince after Dave Brock's departure to Delaware has also been a key in Simon's development as a coach.

"Coach Prince is phenomenal at what he does and we have the athletes to create playmakers," Simon said. "It's not just a play-calling aspect, but he's really kind of changing the culture and attitude. He's been great for the program. To bring in the things that he does, and his experience, it's been incredible to be able to work in his system and learn from him. It makes me better at what I want to do."


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