It seems as though coaching staffs around the country are starting earlier and earlier when it comes to identifying potential superstars in the high school ranks, and class of 2018 offensive lineman Darrell Simpson out of Justin (Tex.) Northwest High School has definitely reaped the benefits.
The sophomore already has over half a dozen Power FIve offers, and is receiving heavy interest from football powers across the country.
Simpson, who stands 6-foot-7 tall and weighs over 300 pounds, has made an effort to visit every school that has offered him. This weekend he plans on visiting Texas Tech, who extended an offer back in late August.
"The visit was set up since I haven't been down there. It's a long trip. We've been trying to plan for it and visit as soon as possible."
2017 outside linebacker prospect Caden McDonald was able to visit Texas Tech when they hosted TCU to open conference play, and he had great things to say about Lubbock. McDonald may end up attending the game with Simpson.
"He said he was supposed to go down to West Texas, and he said he was going to try to drive up to Lubbock for the game."
Simpson was informed of the offer by Texas Tech director of player development coach Emmett Jones, and got to discuss the opportunity with Kliff Kingsbury shortly thereafter.
"It happened a month or two ago. I called coach Emmett Jones and talked to him and coach Kingsbury. We just talked about the school and what Texas Tech had to offer me."
It's quite early for the DFW prospect - his Signing Day isn't for another two-and-a-half years - but he already has some criteria in what he's looking for in a school.
"What I'm looking for is someone who knows how to put their O-linemen into the NFL. How they treat their people, how their education system is. [Coaching style] doesn't really matter to me, I just go with the flow."
The 2018 prospect has surprisingly already unofficially visited over half a dozen schools.
"I think I've visited all the schools that have offered me, except for Kansas and Tech." - but he will get a second look at the Red Raiders this weekend when he makes the trek to Lubbock.
"Actually when we went down to Oklahoma, we watched [Tech]. They have a good offensive line."
He also remarked on the number of first-time players that have seen significant playing time along the offensive line for Texas Tech.
"I mean, just go out and prove to the coach that you can be first-string. It's whatever God has planned."
Simpson holds offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Kansas, among others.