football

4-star DE has Utah in top five after visit

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Four-star defensive end A.J. Simmons out of Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd made the trek to Utah last weekend for his second official visit. What did the 6-foot-3, 255-pounder think about the Utes and where do they stand now with him?
"I thought the visit was cool," he said. "I got a chance to meet some of the players and coaches. I also met head coach Kyle Whittingham, defensive coordinator Gary Anderson and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. I also liked that they have a good business school.
"I got up there Friday night and had dinner with the coaches. Then on Saturday I had breakfast with the team, they showed me and other recruits around campus and I met with the academic director and tutoring staff. After that I went to the game and I got to go up in the sky box and see the locker room. At night, I went out with my host Quinton Ganther and had a lot of fun. He took us around to see downtown and all around campus.
"On Sunday, I met with my recruiter, coach Hill to study film and he also told me about their defensive schemes. Then I met with coach Whittingham. He was really easy to talk to and we talked on a personal level. He asked about my family and told me some things to help with my decision."
The Rivals250 prospect enjoyed taking in the Utes tough loss to New Mexico.
"I thought Utah played pretty well and it was a good game," he said. "I felt they should have run some more screens, but otherwise the defense played well and I liked that a lot. Offensively they came out good, but New Mexico started blitzing and that slowed them down. The atmosphere there was good and the fans were a lot of fun. Coach Hill said it's usually louder, but a lot of fans didn't show up because it was kind of cold."
Overall Simmons rated his trip a seven out of ten as there were a few drawbacks on the visit.
"It was good, but there were flaws like the weight room and some of the players said negatives stuff," he said. "I felt the weight room facilities were a little outdated and old, they did mention they play to redo them or extend it. Also some of the players complained to me about not getting enough playing time and maybe I shouldn't consider going there. Some guys even talked about transferring, but what I saw the coaches and everyone treated them well and it seemed like just a few players had problems with the coaches. I'd still say Utah is in my top five around No. 4 or 5."
Simmons has a visit to California scheduled on December 16th and plans to take a trip to Oregon sometime in December as well.
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