He was on track to have a blockbuster senior season, as T.J. Simmons was primed and ready to post huge numbers for Lakeland (Fla.) Christian High School. This three-star running back prospect tore his ACL as a sophomore and had a good junior campaign. But he really hit his stride both physically and mentally this off-season and it showed this spring and summer.
Then on Friday, Simmons suffered his second season-ending injury.
“T.J. broke his fibula and is in surgery as we speak,” said Wayne Peace, Lakeland Christian’s coach. “The doctors are putting in a pin in his leg and said this injury should not affect his future. They said it was very easily repairable. With a good rehab there’s a chance that T.J. could run track this spring.”
That’s great news for Simmons as he has taken this injury in stride.
“He’s an amazing kid,” Peace said. “I was really expecting him to be down, especially with this being his second bad injury. I was worried about his mental state. But he’s remarkably strong and has been very upbeat about everything. Amazingly he’s all smiles and happy.”
Simmons, 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, was having a great off-season. He looked like his old self this May during spring ball and he had a great camp with UCLA and then committed to the Bruins.
“UCLA has already called and they will honor his commitment,” Peace said. “In fact, he spoke with coach [Jim] Mora directly.
“T.J. was really going to have a monster year. He looked fast, explosive and physical this May and this summer. He was so excited and I really believe he was going to have a huge year. It was just one of those freak injuries last Friday. He had a 30-yard gain, then a 12-yard gain and then got caught up in a pile.”
Simmons first injured his ACL in the first game of his sophomore season. This past Friday his broke his other leg.