Simmons' commitment was a long time in the making, he reports.
"I kind of wanted to do it before I even left Texas, but I just wanted to see them one more time," he said of the Cardinal. "But once I got to Stanford, it was hands down.
"They had the best of both worlds really -- the academics in of itself and the networking, what you get from that degree. Football is a rising program and in the top 10 in the coaches' polls heading into the season, so it's the best of both worlds. I'm going to go there and play great football, and at the same get a great education, and at the same time it's in California, so that's not a bad location either."
(With 2013's preseason polls still months away, Simmons may have been getting ahead of himself, though certainly the Cardinal should be in the top 10 come August, at a minimum.) Though his mind was made, Simmons still had to announce his intent to matriculate at the Farm. Apparently, his announcement even managed to excite Stanford's normally unflappable head man.
"Coach Shaw is a real laid back guy who doesn't get too overly excited about much, but when I committed, he jumped out of his seat, gave me a hug and said, ‘Yeah, that's what I'm talking about,'" said Simmons of a 10:30 a.m. Saturday conversation in David Shaw's office. "[Then the weekend] was real cool. I got a chance to hang out with Jordan Richards, and it was real cool talking to him about the ins and outs of the program, and being able to watch the games and watch the defensive schemes. I enjoyed myself."
Ultimately though, what spoke the loudest to this reporter was what Simmons didn't say. With the national television cameras rolling, Stanford didn't give away much at its spring game. Still, Simmons was protective of whatever the Cardinal and White did show, clamming up when pressed on his spring game observations.
"Really, it's what their coaches are talking about," Simmons said. "They like to move around a whole lot, without giving too much away of their secrets."
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Loose lips sink ships, loose hips get scholarships, and with a full ride in his back pocket pending admissions, Simmons is now taking it upon himself to help round out his 2014 Stanford class.
"I've been recruiting some of my friends: Solomon Thomas, Jamal Adams, Tony Brown, Jabrill Peppers, and Nick Watkins," reports Simmons, an active social media presence (Twitter: @GoldenMongoose2) whose dad runs a 7-on-7 circuit with an outsized footprint in football recruiting circles.
Okay, Brandon, let's hear the pitch to your fellow top-100 Texans (and Peppers, a buddy from Pop Warner days).
"We have the opportunity to do something special. Stanford's a rising program. Of course everybody wants to go to Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and we had the opportunity to do that too, but this is a program that's rising, going to be a contender and maybe make a national championship run. We can go there and play early and dominate. We could be a special recruiting class if we all go."
As for whether these efforts will pull some prospects Stanford's way – well, stay tuned.
"They're still open to all schools really," Simmons says of his recruiting targets. "I'm giving my pitch and not going to tell them anything wrong. Of course, I'm kind of biased because I'm committed."
Alas, some commits are more committed than others in today's recruiting world, and as he decides how to handle ten months until signing day, Simmons wants to touch base with the coaching staff.
"As far as unofficials, I'm done with that. I don't know how the coaching staff feels about officials. I have a friend who goes to Washington and I would want to go hang with him."
Hey, if it weren't for recruiting drama, what would we write for articles? So stay tuned to The Bootleg as we cover the 2014 recruiting class until the final fax transmits.
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