ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Word has gotten out with regards to the improved academic situation of St. Petersburg (Fla.) Gibbs athlete Gary Simon. Simon has had a strong senior year in the classroom and put in additional work via night school in order to drastically improve the chances that he will qualify and make it through the clearinghouse for eligibility next year.
With his academics showing improvement, his recruitment is doing the same.
"The last few weeks I've heard from Maryland, Miami, Ohio State, Florida, Florida State - it is a lot of schools," Simon said. "Some have offered me and some have just come by to get film or check in on me. I am hoping that I hear from more."
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Simon, who likely ends up at cornerback in college, has been offered by numerous schools, but specifically mentioned Iowa State, Miami, Ohio State, and Ole Miss as offering parties that he is interested in checking out further.
As for his first visit, which he has yet to be scheduled, it may be to an out-of-state school that has been showing regular contact.
"I have been talking to Ole Miss a lot lately," Simon said. "I know I want to go visit them. We haven't set a trip up yet, but I want to. I have been talking with Coach (Chris) Vaughn. … Right now, he is just telling me to focus on my education."
While the Rebels' staff is providing support vocally for Simon to continue his strong showing in the classroom, they have also talked to him about why they want him on the football field.
"On the field, they just want me because they believe I can be one of the top corners they have ever had," Simon said.
That pitch is a major reason why Simon is so interested in taking a visit to the SEC school.
"It just seems true," Simon said. "What I really need right now is someone that I can go to and be really coached up by. I believe they offer me that."
His visit to Ole Miss will almost certainly not be his last one.
"I am going to take my time," Simon said. "I will probably take a few visits to check out some schools before making any decision."
With regards to a standardized test score, Simon earned an 18 on the ACT.