Under-the-radar DE to official

The South Carolina Gamecock coaching staff has been in search for another defensive end prospect as a late addition to the class of 2010. The staff may have found one. Look inside as we have the full scoop on this class of 2010 prospect with NFL bloodlines.

Former NFL star Clyde Simmons, Jr. is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who played in the league from 1986-2000 amassing 121.5 career sacks, good for 11th all-time. The 6-5, 298-pound defensive end played in a National Championship, led the league in sacks once, and intercepted a Jim Kelly pass in the NFL Playoffs.

It's probably hard to see how his 6-4, 225-pound son flew under the proverbial recruiting radar for so long, but that's exactly what happened.

Simmons' son, Corey Simmons, a standout at Greater Atlanta Christian School says his team's record the past few years may have had something to do with it.

"I think everybody believes we're 2A, we went 1-9, maybe they [they don't think we're very good]," the younger Simmons said. "I mean we stayed in games, sometimes we just didn't really show up I guess. But maybe it really did affect it a little bit."

Simmons has also played linebacker and tight end, though he probably has the best future upside at defensive end.

At the end of the year, when schools didn't exactly come calling for his services, Corey Simmons says he and his dad began making efforts in earnest to make that change.

"At the end of the year my dad and I just talked about it and said we were going to send out tapes to everybody, and I guess see what comes back," he said.

N.C. Central had offered and Kent State was showing interest, but Simmons was yet to get a BCS offer until South Carolina's Shane Beamer contacted him last week. And by Sunday the Gamecocks had offered.

With less than two weeks until National Signing Day 2010, things are moving fast for Simmons, and he will take an official visit to South Carolina tonight.

"I'm just looking to see the campus," he said. "See if there are people that I can sociably hang around, you can't just go to college and be alone."

Despite the fact that they just got involved with him, Simmons isn't completely unaware about the Gamecock program. Simmons' father was born in Lane, SC and the younger Simmons says that other than his dad, Shannon Sharpe, brother of Gamecock great Sterling Sharpe is his favorite player. Simmons has also watched former Norcross, GA standout Eric Norwood and his record-breaking career at South Carolina.

"I followed him a lot," Simmons says. "I watched games just to see what he could do, because he's a good player. I like him."

On the visit, he says he just wants to learn more about how he will fit into the defense.

"They were thinking of me more as a future player," he said. "Not a right-now guy, but letting me grow and workout some, just get into the system as a good player I guess.

"I want to learn more. I know they run a 4-3 with a little bit of movement up front. But I want to go see more and see what else they do."

Simmons, who describes himself as an end who likes to work in space, isn't tipping his hand on whether or not he could pull the trigger while in Columbia.

"I can't say I really don't know," he says. "I just want to go down check it out, and see if it's somewhere I would like to play."

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