football

Early leader for Simmons

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Lakeland (Fla.) inside linebacker T.J. Simmons reports a pair of offers as the spring evaluation period gets underway.
"I have picked up two offers," Simmons said. "Iowa State and Western Kentucky."
The 6-foot, 220-pound backer has spoken with an assistant on the staff of each school.
"Coach (Wally) Burnham is recruiting me at Iowa State," Simmons said. "He said that I fit their scheme and everything. We talked about academics more than football."
"I am talking with Coach (Raymond) Woodie at Western Kentucky," Simmons said. "He said that he is really interested in me coming in there and being a linebacker for them for the next four years. He was telling me about how they are getting a lot of Polk County players right now and they are putting them on the field early on. He said they are recruiting me because they want me on the field early."
As for his next offer, Simmons believes that will come from a school just down the road.
"I think USF maybe," Simmons said. "I have been talking with Coach (Kevin) Patrick since spring of last year and I went to their junior day and some other things."
Simmons has taken a pair of visits to the Tampa-area school.
"I had been on their campus before for a tour, but this most recent time it was more in-depth and I went around the athletic facilities," Simmons said. "The first time it was more about academics and the buildings around the school. I like the atmosphere and the coaches there though."
Simmons said he has visited Miami in addition to South Florida, but that the Hurricanes haven't shown a great deal of interest.
At this point in the process, Simmons claims a leader.
"Definitely Western Kentucky," Simmons said. "Coach Woodie just seems like such a real coach. I can just see him coaching me. He just seems like my type of coach. I feel like I can understand him and he understands me. We just clicked when we talked on the phone. Plus I want to play on the field early."
Simmons did not share a specific timeline for making a decision.
As a junior, Simmons recorded 121 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, two fumbles forced, and a fumble recovery.
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