Simmons: "The One I've Been Waiting For"

Texas safety Brandon Simmons' enjoys an offer list that is 40 schools large, but Stanford is certainly one of the leaders in his recruitment. Members of the Cardinal coaching staff have visited his high school several times as part of their attempts to haul in a monster secondary in the 2014 class.

"I moved down to Texas my ninth grade year, and it proved to be a good move," safety Brandon Simmons said. "I got my first offer in ninth grade from SMU. Then, last year, I started to receive a lot of offers. I think I'm at 40 offers now, and it's getting real hectic."

Only a handful of recruits in any year will pull in close to 40 offers, and in Simmons' case, the scouting services concur with the professionals' assessments. Scout has him as a four-star player and the No. 4 safety nationally. That's his highest ranking, but he's a consensus four-star, top-200 player no matter the service.

Stanford thought highly enough to offer Simmons Oct. 26 of his junior year, a date that Simmons won't soon forget.

"Stanford offered on my birthday, and that's the one I've been waiting for," he told The Bootleg earlier this week. "They have the best of both worlds. I'm real high on academics. My family is real high on academics. We take that seriously. On top of that, they have great football. A lot of schools have okay academics, so to have both is rare."

Stanford's institutional goals of academic and athletic excellence appear to mirror Simmons' own ambitions. Put more directly, when listening to Simmons talk about academic and athletic success, one gets the sense that it's personal.

"A lot of people don't respect their game and think a bunch of smart kids can't play football, but smart kids can play football," he said. "I want to be part of that process of becoming a powerhouse team in the country."

Still, while Simmons reports he did visit Stanford last April for a Junior Day, he wants to get a better feel for the campus before potentially making commitment. Given that he hopes to commit to a school by the end of May, after spring football, Stanford would be wise to push for that trip to occur sooner rather than later.

"They're definitely in my top schools," Simmons said of Stanford. "I just want to see their campus, and I'm really trying to get up there... Sll I haven't seen or need to see is the campus. Everybody told me that it's nice."

As is, Simmons has plenty of connections to Stanford football. Simmons attends Mansfield Timberview High School in suburban Dallas, a crosstown rival of Mansfield High, where Stepfan Taylor racked up a school-record 4,792 yards and 67 rushing touchdowns before graduating in 2009.

"I live right across the street from Mansfield [High]," Simmons said upon hearing of Taylor's alma mater. "There are a lot of great players here in Texas."

Additionally, Ty Montgomery, Stanford's No. 1 receiver, graduated from Dallas' St. Marks in 2011 and stays in touch with Simmons to this day.

"I know Ty Montgomery real well," Simmons said. "I used to train with him. He said there's a lot of connections, alumni are great there, so you can get a job easy.

"I was just talking to him," Simmons added. "He says it's real nice place, real nice atmosphere, and if you don't go to the NFL, you'll walk out with a great degree that can get you any job anywhere. And that's not counting the alumni, so you're well taken care of."

All this interaction with Stanford has yet to consider the Cardinal coaching staff, which has been nothing short of relentless in its pursuit of Simmons.

"I talk to Mike Sanford all the time," Simmons said. "He came to my school about five or six times. He comes once or twice a month. I talked to Coach Mason a couple of times. Coach Shaw came to the school in late January. I've pretty much talked to all of the coaching staff."

The coaches are perfectly personable folks, but The Bootleg wondered what you could possibly talk about with a coach visiting you for the sixth time. Wouldn't you run out of conversation fooder?

"That's the cool thing about it," Simmons said. "You think it would be awkward, but Coach Sanford is a real cool guy. We talk about football. He wants me to be part of the great DB class they're going to have."

A great class of defensive backs is in the works? Tell us more, Brandon.

"They've got Jabrill Peppers really considering them, and we played against each other in Pop Warner because we're both from New Jersey," Simmons said. "It's funny that he might be going there. We haven't talked about it yet. I haven't talked to him since we were little, but I'm just reading all the articles.

"I know that they had one DB committed, but that might not stick [decommit Devin Williams]. I know a real good tight end from Utah [Dalton Schultz] is in the mix. And their O-line is gonna be sick."

It seems like Simmons, who keeps an active Twitter presence as @GoldenMongoose2, stays on top of recruiting and is well-versed in the social media world that is recruiting in 2013. Given that he plans on committing early, and is a self-described "people person," Simmons would seem to be a natural player to help recruit potential classmates to the Farm.

"We don't believe in decommitting and all that stuff, so when I commit, I'm then going to try to build that program I decide to go to and I want to be successful," Simmons said. "I can't do it all myself, so I need to get those guys around me."

Stanford fans need think no further back than graduated defensive tackle Terrence Stephens, who when not recruiting classmates to the Farm, met Antonin Scalia on a flight and "recruited" the Supreme Court Justice to deliver the commencement address at Stephens' high school.

While Stephens is a psychology major, Simmons sees himself more likely to study science in college.

"I know one of the majors I'm looking into, were I to attend Stanford, would be the intersection of business and science," he said, likely referring to management science and engineering.

Simmons is more flexible when it comes to a future position. He is being recruited as a safety, where he plays now, but played corner in middle school, and feels comfortable at either position.


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