I got a chance about a week ago to talk to Monmouth Regional's speedy wideout Derrick Simmons. Derrick, who is a friend of RU verbal Tre Timbers, was another Monmouth County player who had a excellent showing at the recent Penn State Nike Camp. Chris Melvin noted that Derrick showed "great hands and speed" at the Nike Camp and indeed those are Derrick's greatest assets. Derrick runs a legitimate 4.5 in the forty yard dash and was timed at that speed up at the Nike Camp. In the shuttle he ran a 4.4. He also has a reputation for having great hands which makes him the complete package at wideout.
Derrick also has the size to play Div 1A football. He is 5-11, 184 and working in the weight room to muscle up to Div 1A strength. On offense last year Derrick had 320 yards on 12 catches. On defense Monmouth Regional doesn't keep tackle statistics but Derrick noted that he came up with four interceptions. His most interesting stat however dealt the two punt returns he took back for touchdowns of 65 and 50 yards. Derrick has the ability to elude tacklers both on punt returns and after he catches the pass, that makes him an especially dangerous player in the open field.
Early interest in Derrick is coming from a number of schools including Rutgers, Iowa, Syracuse, Auburn, Penn State, Temple and others. He'll be camping at both RU and Boston College this summer but right now his favorites are Rutgers and Temple. He is looking for a school with a good criminal justice program and a coaching staff he feels comfortable with.
Finally, Derrick was yet another young man who was well spoken, intelligent and easy to talk to. He'll definitely be a player to keep an eye on in the coming season.
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net