Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd defensive lineman A.J Simmons is a player who has been on our radar screen since he was a just a freshman. The two time all-area selection has a Pac 10 flavor to his favorites list and could emerge as a national recruit this coming summer.
Simmons, 6-4, 240 pounds had a solid junior season a year ago earning 1st team all-area and second team all-state underclass honors after helping to lead his Dragons squad to a city championship. Simmons totaled 42 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries and added 18 catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns while playing tight end.
His numbers, particularly on defense sound rather than modest but hardly tell the whole story.
"He has been the best player on our team the last three years," Dragon head coach Paul Perenon said. "He's a dominating player and is never blocked by just one player. He really opens up things for the rest of the defense."
Simmons attended the NorCal Nike camp a year ago and had a solid showing. He'll be back again this year but said he's unsure about the rest of his summer camp plans.
"Recruiting is all right but no one has offered yet," Simmons said. "I'm hearing from a lot of the Pac 10 schools plus Florida State, Michigan and Miami. Miami was my favorite school growing up but I like USC a lot right now. They're the No. 1 team in the country and I'm looking to play for a team that is going to compete for championships.
"Cal, Oregon, UCLA and Miami would be the rest of my favorites if I had to name a top five. I'm also getting some looks from scouts in baseball but football is definitely my first love."
Academically, Simmons is carrying a 3.43 GPA and will take the SAT later in the year.