"I can be the next piece of the puzzle"

South Carolina picked up a commitment from one of the hardest hitting safety prospects in the southeast on Sunday when Banneker (College Park, GA) 3-star headhunter Darrell Simmons pledged to the Gamecocks while on an official visit to USC. Read inside for all the details.

The 6'1", 201 pound Simmons, who is rated by Scout.com as the #26 safety prospect in America this recruiting year, said he felt at home at South Carolina over the weekend and he's excited about what the future holds for the Gamecocks.

"I committed to South Carolina today. I just felt that it was the right place for me. I had a great weekend there, and I just felt that South Carolina was a good fit," said Simmons. "South Carolina is heading in the right direction right now as far as academics and football. They're getting new (academic) buildings this year or next year. They have Steve Spurrier. It's going to be a great place for me."

Simmons was hosted by two of his former high school teammates while on his official visit to USC, and he got a good feel for what the day-to-day life is like in Columbia.

"Carlos (Thomas) and Ladi (Ajiboye) were my hosts. They just showed me what South Carolina is like and what they do on a daily basis. I saw the whole campus - the academic buildings, the stadium, the mall, the community, everything."

The Peach State standout also had the opportunity to talk with several of the Gamecock coaches while on campus, and he's looking forward to making an immediate impact on USC's defense next season.

"I talked with a lot of the coaches. We discussed how they could use me on defense as a defensive back. Coach Spurrier told me that I can start as a true freshman, and I feel like I fit right in with the defense. I'll play either (safety position)."

When asked to describe what strengths he brings to the football field as a safety, Simmons replied that he's the complete package.

"I'm a very athletic, physical player. I'm a very good tackler and someone that can defend the pass."

Simmons, who finished his senior season with 97 tackles,1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries for touchdown and 6 sacks, closed by passing on a message to the South Carolina fans.

"I just want to let everybody know that I'll be on the way and I can be the next piece of the puzzle to help win an SEC Championship and a National Championship."

To discuss this article, visit GamecockAnthem's premium forum - The Golden Spur.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories