At the Manhattan NIKE Training Camp, St. Louis University all-purpose back Stephen Simmons was one of the fastest players at the camp. He's continued to blaze a path this summer through several college camps and to the AAU junior Olympics.
"I qualified for the AAU junior Olympics in New Orleans last weekend," Simmons, who is 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, said. "I'm going to a meet this weekend in Oklahoma on Thursday to qualify for another big meet. I was excited to make it to the junior Olympics. That's a really big deal for me."
Just like the attention he's getting from the college coaches.
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Simmons attended one-day camps at both Illinois and Indiana. He had already picked up an offer from Indiana from coach Matt Canada and he was hoping to impress the Illini enough to also offer.
"The Illinois camp was just last Thursday," Simmons said. "There weren't too many of us there. I think were like 12 or so guys, so it was a really exclusive thing. They had me working at defensive back, receiver and running back.
"Coach (Reggie) Mitchell said they're recruiting me as an athlete. At first they told me they weren't going to take a guy like me at running back, but after the camp was over, they said they have to do some serious thinking and will get back to me here in the next few weeks."
The Indiana camp stop was also a good one, Simmons said.
"I didn't run a very good time in the 40 for some reason," he said. "I ran a 4.58, which is a really slow time for me. I think I did well in the position drills and in the one-on-ones. I was able to relate pretty good with the running back coach.
"I talk to coach Canada once a week. I call him and talk to him all the time."
Simmons said other than Illinois and Indiana, he's getting serious attention from Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.
"They can't contact me because of the rules, but my coach is telling me that those guys, especially Northern Illinois, seem really interested in me," Simmons said.
"I'm just trying to soak all this in now. I've been running a lot of track this summer, and trying to improve my footwork, so that's been a big focus of mine."
Rivals.com ranks Simmons as the No. 18 player in the state of Missouri.