Derek Simmons commits to USC

The USC summer camps have become an increasingly important evaluation tool for the coaches and that has certainly been evident this year with a verbal commitment after the recent Senior Camp from Armijo HS defensive end Derek Simmons. Simmons (6-5, 278) was offered a scholarship after performing well at the camp and he immediately accepted. Earlier this month, OL Zack Heberer committed to the Trojans after receiving an offer following the Lineman Camp. Click below to hear more from Simmons:

"Yes sir, I committed to USC. I guess the coaches liked what they saw at the Summer Camp, Coach Jethro (Franklin) said they wanted me and they made me the offer after the camp. I took it right away because I didn't want them to think I wasn't serious. It was just an offer I couldn't refuse.

"It was a combination of a lot of things that I liked about the school. I like the fact that USC is a private school so they really stress academics. I didn't see much of the campus while I was there but the parts that I saw I liked a lot. I plan to get down there later this year for an official visit. My plan is to major in business management with a minor in communications."

The main thing that sticks out about Simmons on the field is his size. We had a chance to watch him this year at several camps and he is simply a big, big man. Derek weighed 245 at the beginning of last season but he has added close to 35 pounds to his 6-5 frame and is one of the most physically imposing players on the field. When you combine that with 4.95 speed in the 40 (his time at the SC camp) it is easy to see how he ended up with a Trojan offer.

Derek had 72 total tackles last year (49 solo) to go along with 12 sacks. He played both defensive end and defensive tackle for the Indians but says his preference is to play end at the college level.

"I like defensive end because there's more you can do on the outside instead of being contained on the inside. My strength as a player is my speed for a big guy and that works well on the outside. I'm also coachable so I will do whatever the coaches want.

"I'm a very intense player and Coach Jethro Franklin is one of the main reasons I wanted to go to USC. He's a crazy guy, he gets wild out there. I'm just like that. With Coach Carroll, you can see about him when he was out there at the camp riding around the field on his motorcart. That shows even the best in the world can be out there having fun, you don't always have to be serious to get the job done."

Simmons becomes the third Trojan commit for the upcoming class.

Class of 2006 Commitments

TE Gerald Washington (Chaffey College)
OL Zack Heberer (San Pedro HS)
DE Derek Simmons (Armijo HS)


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