Top 100 DE eyes WSU official visit in January

WHILE MANY prospects around the nation are approaching the home stretch of their recruitment, there are also those just now giving the college decision their full attention. One such prospect, rated in the top 100 at the DE spot and with several Pac-12 offers, has Washington State in his top five and is planning a January trip to the Palouse.

Ewing Simmons, a Stockton, Calif. defensive end out of St. Mary's has a top five but has yet to take any trips to this point.

"Recruiting is going really good right now," Simmons said. "I'm just waiting until January to take my trips. If I had to give a top five it would be USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington State, and Colorado. I have offers from four of those and I'm still waiting on USC."

When the dead period is lifted in January, the nation's 90th ranked defensive end plans on taking numerous trips to various Pac-12 schools.

"The first trip I'm taking will be to University of Colorado, then the second trip I'll take to University of Arizona," Simmons said. "The other three I still haven't planned yet.

"For my trip to Arizona, they haven't given me a specific date, they're thinking maybe the third week of January. Colorado is definitely the 20th (of January), but Arizona wants to make sure all of the students are back since everybody left for Christmas. I'm also thinking abut taking a visit up to Washington State. They've been showing me a lot of interest and they just got coach (Mike) Leach. I'm planning on a trip there too, maybe after my Colorado trip. I really want to take all five of my visits to see where I'm going to go to school."

While his final decision date remains uncertain, Simmons is well aware of the factors that will ultimately make deciding on his future home an easier one.

"I'm going to take my visits and see what schools are like and hopefully I can my decision by Signing Day," Simmons said. "If not, I'll have to make it after.

"I'm looking for what the school can offer as a whole. Academics is very important, the campus, the campus lifestyle; all of those things will help me make up my mind."

Although there has been a changing of the guard at Arizona with newly hired Rich Rodriguez, Simmons' status as a priority recruit has not changed, as he's hearing from the school and its head coach on a regular basis.

"I recently got a special letter from coach Rodriguez," Simmons said. "He wrote me a hand written letter and told me that they're rebuilding at Arizona, but the Pac-12 as a whole is rebuilding. He told me he's looking forward to meeting me and he hopes I'll be going to school there depending on my visit and seeing what Arizona has to offer.

"I like coach Rodriguez, I think he's going to bring change to Arizona. I like him as a coach; he's a great guy. I'd love to play for him."

With Rodriguez's famed 3-3-5 defense likely on the way, the UA coaching staff has let the 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end know exactly where they see him fitting in as a Wildcat.

"Right now, Arizona is looking at me as a defensive end, but I could also be a standup backer," Simmons said. "I still could end up playing tight end, it's still up in the air right now. The position doesn't really matter to me. I just want to be able to get to college and play wherever they need me."

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