This is a big fish. A really big fish. I wasn't sure there was going to be enough room for all of the stars next to Simmons' name. Enough gushing, yesterday, Texas Tech, along with head coach Tommy Tuberville and assistant coach Robert Prunty, received the commitment of defensive tackle Delvon Simmons. Simmons and fellow 2011 commitment, DE Branden Jackson, both went to the same high school, and that's a big part of the connection that Simmons has with Texas Tech.
So much good-good after the jump.
The Player Speaks: I haven't seen where Simmons is speaking, but his high school head coach has spoken quite a bit, and that's not a knock on him, I think he's been helping Simmons through the entire process of being released from his North Carolina letter of intent and choosing another college. Let's start with LAJ's Don Williams, who reports that Simmons is up from his initially reported weight of 265 to 295. This might make your pants go crazy:
"I think he’ll probably come to Tech between 290 and 295," said Ward, who used Simmons as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense.
McKeesport went 8-2 last season in Class 4A, the highest in Pennsylvania. Simmons had team highs of 77 tackles, 17 for loss and seven sacks.
"He runs like a linebacker," Ward said. "His explosiveness off the football is incredible. He’s a very disruptive defensive tackle, not just getting to the quarterback but sideline to sideline making plays. He has tremendous athleticism, his frame is outstanding, and he has great strength.
"He has as much upside as any kid I’ve coached," said Ward, who has coached for 14 years, the last six as a head coach. "He has all the physical tools."
The only caveat is that Simmons has not yet qualified, but he's working on it.
The TribLive's John Santa talks a bit about the decision making process:
"I know I'm happy its all over," Ward said. "I don't feel like it's ever ended.
"I'm just glad for him. I feel like, in the end, each school presented a great opportunity."
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Simmons, who didn't return phone calls from the Tribune-Review yesterday, chose Texas Tech over 20 Division I offers. His final decision, however, came down to offers from Texas Tech, Southern Cal and Pitt.
"It was hard for him," Ward said of Simmons who made an unofficial visit to Pitt last week. "He liked (USC and Pitt) a lot. I think that's probably what took him so long to make a decision."
If you want to know what sort of affect that Prunty has on a young person's life, check out 247 Sports' Justin Wells:
"(Red Raiders head coach) Tommy Tuberville obviously has a great track record -- both as an assistant and a head coach," Ward said. "I think all of the people, including Robert Prunty (who recruited Jackson and Simmons), around the program were a big factor in the decision as well.
"Prunty really represented all of the people at Texas Tech. He did an excellent job of recruiting and developing a relationship with the kids. I think there was a real comfort level there."
You can also hear RP.com's Travis Cram talk about the signing, on 1340 the Fan in Lubbock.
And last but not least, Texas Tech, because this was official news, had a press-release and Tuberville talked about what Simmons will bring:
"Delvon has the ability to be a difference maker in our program," said Tuberville. "He is an explosive and disruptive player and an outstanding athlete. We are thrilled to have him."
The Video: Having a tough time finding video on Simmons. You can see some video from his ESPN profile, where he's playing defensive end. I think this film may be a bit old and I thought I read where Simmons was playing defensive tackle. I did find video of Simmons being selected for the U.S. Army All-American game:
Delvon Simmons - 2011 Selection Tour (via ArmyAllAmericanBowl)
Scouting Report: I don't think it's accurate for me to give a scouting report based on video that may be over a year old and where Simmons is playing out of position. Simmons' Scout profile does have a short profile:
A defensive end and offensive guard for his McKeesport team, Simmons may be best served playing interior line full time in college. He is a very good run blocker at guard, on the defensive line he plays with good strength and leverage. He's a good athlete that will need to learn to get off blocks better if he's to remain on the defensive side of the ball. Plays with a high motor and gets in on 2nd effort tackles - Scott Kennedy, Scout.com.
Delvon, welcome to Texas Tech and Git Your Guns Up!
The 2011 Class: Obviously, with 28 commits, there are going to be some guys that aren't going to qualify. And we'll re-figure these averages once we know who actually qualifies.
|Position||Commitment||Ht/Wt||School/State||Rivals||Rivals Rating||Scout||ESPN||ESPN Grade|
|QB||Michael Brewer||6-0/175||Lake Travis (Austin, TX)||3||5.7||3||3||78|
|RB||Kenny Williams||5-10/210||Hendrickson (Pflugerville, TX)||4||5.8||4||4||80|
|RB||Bradley Marquez||5-11/180||Odessa (Odessa, TX)||3||5.7||4||4||79|
|WR||Derek Edwards||6-1/163||Brenham (Brenham, TX)||4||5.8||3||3||79|
|WR||Marcus Kennard||6-4/205||Butler County C.C. (El Dorado, KS)||4||5.8||2||0||0|
|WR||Jakeem Grant||5-7/157||Horn (Mesquite, TX)||3||5.5||3||3||75|
|TE||Jace Amaro||6-5/237||MacArthur (San Antonio, TX)||4||5.9||4||3||78|
|OL||Tony Morales||6-4/300||Sam Houston (Arlington, TX)||4||5.8||3||3||78|
|OL||Alfredo Morales||6-3/287||Sam Houston (Arlington, TX)||3||5.7||3||3||76|
|OL||Le'Raven Clark||6-6/245||Rockdale (Rockdale, TX)||3||5.7||4||3||79|
|OL||Matt Wilson||6-7/270||Coldspring-Oakhurst (Coldspring, TX)||3||5.5||3||0||45|
|DL||Dennell Wesley||6-3/315||Butler County C.C. (El Dorado, KS)||3||5.5||2||0||0|
|DL||Leon Mackey||6-5/260||Hinds C.C. (Raymond, MS)||4||5.8||3||0||0|
|DL||Donte Phillips||6-3/260||Homestead (Mequon, WI)||2||5.4||3||2||74|
|DL||Delvon Simmons||6-5/295||McKeesport (McKeesport, PA)||4||5.9||5||4||79|
|DE||Kindred Evans||6-6/215||South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, TX)||3||5.6||3||3||75|
|DE||Branden Jackson||6-5/220||McKeesport (McKeesport, PA)||3||5.7||4||3||78|
|DE||Desimon Green||6-5/230||Clairton (Clairton, PA)||3||5.5||3||3||78|
|DE||Cooper Washington||6-4/225||Muleshoe (Muleshoe, TX)||3||5.7||3||3||78|
|LB||Blake Dees||6-0/234||Spanish Fort (Spanish Fort, AL)||3||5.5||3||2||73|
|LB||Sam Eguavoen||6-2/220||Lakeview Centennial (Garland, TX)||3||5.6||2||3||75|
|LB||Justin Cooper||6-1/205||University School of Nova South (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)||3||5.5||2||2||74|
|CB||Jeremy Reynolds||5-9/166||Oak Ridge Military Academy (Oak Ridge, NC)||3||5.5||2||3||77|
|ATH||Ronnie Daniels||6-1/195||La Cueva (Albuquerque, NM)||3||5.6||3||3||76|
|ATH||LaDarrin Robertson||6-3/215||Longview (Longview, TX)||3||5.5||3||3||77|
|ATH||DeAndre Washington||5-9/183||Marshall (Missouri City, TX)||3||5.7||4||3||78|
|ATH||J.J. Gaines||5-11/175||Irving Nimitz (Irving, TX)||3||5.6||3||3||77|
|ATH||Otis Wright||6-0/180||Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)||2||5.4||0||0||45|