When you have over 500 players in one place, close to 100 of them linemen, it can be tough to standout. Still it was impossible to miss Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd rush end A.J. Simmons, our choice as the top defensive lineman in the entire camp.
Simmons, 6-3, 255 pounds plays both defensive end and tight end but worked out with the lineman on Saturday. In a camp that had several good looking defensive lineman, Simmons was the top choice among the Nike line coaches as the top player in their group.
Simmons is one of those players that may not put up great testing numbers, but he shines when it's time to play. The athlete clocked a 5.23 electronic time in the 40, 4.83 in the shuttle, did 16 reps on the bench and jumped 23 inches in the vertical. Not exactly eye popping numbers, but like we said, when the position and one on one drills started, there was nobody better.
Simmons has natural strength and is very quick. He gets off the ball well and knows how to use his hands. Looking at his frame and how well he moves in the box, defensive tackle definitely looks like his best college position. Simmons could easily carry enough 25 pounds or so without losing his quickness and great burst off the line.
On the recruiting front, Simmons has offers from Cal, Oregon, Arizona, LSU and Fresno State.
"I have a top three of USC, Cal and Miami," Simmons said. "I also like Oregon, UCLA and Florida State. "USC is my top school and Cal is right behind them. I like the idea of staying close to home and playing in the Pac 10 but I want to take my trips and see what else is out there."
Academically, Simmons is carrying a 3.43 GPA and will take the SAT later in the year.