Jeffery Simmons is what the SEC is all about and he doesn’t even play in the SEC yet. He will, though, and he will make an impact.
He is a big, fast, and violent football player that has the chance to be an all-conference player at Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Alabama, or Auburn. Bigger, faster, stronger is what the conference is all about and they’ll be adding another prospect who epitomizes that next fall.
Simmons has added significant bulk from his junior to senior season and is well put together. He has great length and looks like he could get to 280-290 range while in college. The added weight has not hurt his mobility at all. He moves well laterally and shows some initial explosiveness. He runs very well for his size.
Tall usually means long and that is always a good thing with defensive linemen. Simmons uses his length well to disengage from blocks and has above average hand use at this stage in his development. I would like to see him be a little more consistently violent with his punch, but that can come with time.
Tall can also mean high, as in pad level. That’s not an issue with Simmons as he plays with good leverage and does a nice job of being the low man. He wins at the point of attack because of that and can bully offensive linemen into the backfield. He also displays a good first step and lateral agility to knife through on slants. He can be a disruptive player in a teams’ front.
He plays with his hand in the ground and standing up on the edge for his high school. He is a good chase player that can make plays from the backside when unblocked.
He flashes as a pass rusher with his ability to knock away hands and finish to the quarterback. Not a natural bender around the edge, he probably is best suited to rush the passer from the interior at the next level.
Size is going to dictate that he probably move inside eventually. I think he can develop into a potentially dominant 3 technique in a 4-3, but could play end in a 3-4. He’s athletic enough to play as an end in a 4-3, but I don’t see that as his best position moving forward.
There is no doubt that Simmons has the potential to be a big time player on the defensive line in the SEC. He has outstanding physical traits and does things well that some other take much longer to learn. I think he can be an immediate contributor and high level multi-year starter for whatever school he eventually chooses.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach)