Hunter's legacy has Simmons intrigued

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Justin Hunter caught 106 passes for 1,812 yards and 18 touchdowns in his three-year career as a Tennessee Volunteer wide receiver.

Hunter's making the most of his opportunity in Knoxville after trekking down from Virginia Beach, Va., and subsequent success in the National Football League is helping the Vols in recruiting.

Jahvoni Simmons is a prospect from the same high school as Hunter that Tennessee coaches have offered a scholarship. Simmons is one of numerous examples of talented players in Old Dominion that the staff on Rocky Top would love to have.

"Definitely a great program," Simmons told InsideTennessee. "Justin Hunter, I went to high school with him. He went there and went to the NFL. When I talk to Justin, he says Tennessee is a great school. It's a great coaching staff; they look out for you. Coach (Butch) Jones is a pretty good dude. I love the way he coaches. He really gets after it when he coaches."

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Simmons ranks in as the No. 95 player overall in the Scout 300 and the No. 2-ranked middle linebacker in the nation. He has over 20 scholarship offers.

Linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen is the lead recruiter for Tennessee on Simmons.

"He's a great dude, very passionate about what he does," Simmons said.

"I'm trying to get down there for a practice or the spring game."

Seeing the Tennessee campus is a possibility that excites the Scout four-star prospect.

"I've seen my fair share but I definitely think Tennessee will be a standout. That 110,000-person stadium, man. I know it gets people rocking."

A list of top schools may come later rather than sooner for the Ocean Lakes (Va.) High School standout.

"I don't really have nobody at the top of my list right now," the top middle linebacker in Virginia said. "I'm pretty wide open right now.

"I mean everybody's coming at me, everybody wants me. It's an interesting process.

"I'll probably try to cut it down right before the season then maybe take a couple officials during the season then maybe commit midseason or after."

The fifth-best junior in Virginia plans to compete as an Under Armour All-American in early January. He will not be enrolling in college that month.

Charlotte NFTC: Jahvoni Simmons from John Garcia Jr. on Vimeo.

Discuss the recruitment of Simmons with InsideTennessee analysts and subscribers by clicking here.

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the Scout team July 2011.
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