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  • Pernell: Interview with Greg Simmons



    Greg Simmons of Fort Pierce Central High School in Fort Pierce, Florida, is currently rated as a three-star prospect by all four major recruiting services. Nebraska continues to scour the country in search of linebacker help and the Huskers are particularly thin in the middle. There isn't a true middle linebacker on the current roster who isn't an upperclassmen. It is imperative for the coaches to find a couple inside guys in this class who they can plug into the system and have learn for a year under guys like Josh Banderas and Michael Rose-Ivey. The linebacker position promises to be vital in Mark Banker's Cover-4 scheme. Linebackers will need to be athletic and versatile. They will be asked to cover tight ends and running backs, while also needing to stuff the run and be effective blitzers. One of the Huskers' top targets at middle linebacker is Greg Simmons, who is currently committed to his hometown Miami Hurricanes. Simmons pledged his services to Miami in February, but has maintained a strong interest in Nebraska ever since the Cornhuskers extended an offer to him less than two weeks later. Simmons fits the mold of what Banker and linebackers coach Trent Bray are looking for out of their inside guys. He has become one of the top linebacker targets on the Huskers' board for the 2016 recruiting class. I had the opportunity to interview Greg in an attempt to gain some insight into his recruiting experience. The following is a transcript from that:


    Q: What kind of things do you do for fun?
    A: I like to play video games with my friends and family.

    Q: At what age did you start playing football?
    A: I started playing football in the 4th grade.

    Q: What was your favorite college team growing up?
    A: My favorite team growing up was Miami.

    Q: Have a favorite NFL Team?
    A: Favorite NFL team is the San Francisco 49'ers.

    Q: Which is better, the NFL or college?
    A: The college game is way better than the NFL.

    Q: Do you try and emulate any specific player?
    A: I like to try and emulate Ray Lewis.

    Q: Any particular reason for the jersey number?
    A: The #31 was the first number that I ever had and it will be the last one too.

    Q: Are you happy the NCAA went to a playoff, or did you prefer the BCS system?
    A: The playoffs were loads of fun. The BCS system could get things wrong.

    Q: When and who was your first scholarship offer?
    A: My first offer was from Florida Atlantic at the Summer Hitting Camp.

    Q: How many scholarship offers do you currently have?
    A: I have 14 offers right now.

    Q: Is there a school that hasn't offered you that you would like to see do so?
    A: Yes, there are schools that I would love to see offer but I have Nebraska, the biggest one.

    Q: You committed to Miami in mid-February but have maintained interest in a handful of other schools. Who are those schools?
    A: Nebraska, N.C. State, Louisville and West Virginia

    Q: Who is currently recruiting you the hardest?
    A: Nebraska is recruiting me the hardest.

    Q: Are you planning to take a trip up to Lincoln sometime this summer to check out the Nebraska campus and facilities?
    A: I might not be able to come up this summer, but I am going to be taking an official visit there.

    Q: Have you thought about who you might want to "officially visit"?
    A: My official visits will be to Nebraska, West Virginia and N.C. State.

    Q: What are some of the considerations you have when deciding between schools?
    A: The thing I will be considering the most aren't things like location or early playing time. I will be looking for a comfortable atmosphere.

    Q: Do you pay attention to the recruiting momentum of the teams you are considering?
    A: Not really. It's more about who is recruiting me the hardest.

    Q: Did you attend any schools Spring Game?
    A: Yeah, I went to the Miami spring game.

    Q: You were arguably the most impressive linebacker at the Rivals Camp Series held in Miami back in mid-March. What did you think about your performance?
    A: I think I was among the best linebackers at that RCS, but I am a middle linebacker. I'm going to be getting my school paid for to hit, not cover. It's more difficult to showcase that aspect at those camps.

    Q: You have a relationship with former Husker All-American, Wonder Monds. Can you describe that relationship.
    A: Wonderful Monds is my Godfather. He is a great mentor and a great man all-around. He doesn't sugar coat anything. I think he should've been a head coach in college or the NFL.

    Q: You are capable of playing all three linebacker spots. Has Nebraska told you where they would like to play you?
    A: Nebraska wants me at middle 'backer.

    Q: What position would you prefer to play in college?
    A: Wherever coaches want me. I can play all three.

    Q: When Mike Riley and the new staff took over at Nebraska, they noticed a glaring need for linebacker help. Does the possibility of playing your way onto the field early with the Huskers excite you?
    A: Yes, but I have decided to take a redshirt to get bigger.

    Q: What do you feel are some of your playing strengths?
    A: My playing strengths are that I can cover man-to-man or play in a zone. I am also a very instinctive 'backer and I love to intercept the football.

    Q: What are some things you would like to work on between now and college?
    A: I need to work on just getting stronger. I want to be bigger so that I will be able fight off lineman with ease.

    Q: Talk a little more about wanting to Redshirt.
    A: Redshirting is just a great idea. I will get to learn the system and hit the weight room and ultimately be at Nebraska for 5-years!

    Q: What is the most annoying aspect of the recruiting process?
    A: The most annoying thing about recruiting are some of the rules that the NCAA have. Some are just crazy.

    Q: Do you have a major in mind?
    A: No, I don't really know what field or major that I am getting into yet. I am going to decide next year.

    Q: What are your goals for your senior season?
    A: I want 100+ tackles with 50+ being solos. I want 10 interceptions and 15+ forced fumbles.

    Q: Do you have any individual goals for your college career?
    A: My goals for college are to graduate with my degree and to be a 3-time All-Conference and All-American. I want to lead my team in tackles, be a captain and win championships.

    Q: What do you think you will miss the most about high school?
    A: The thing I'll miss about high school is my brothers on the football team because I will probably never see them again. I will miss my teachers too.

    Q: What is the craziest recruiting "pitch" you have heard so far?
    A: The craziest thing is when a recruiter asked, "If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?" And, "would I let this kid date my daughter?"

    Q: In addition to 'National Letter of Intent Day' in February, should there be an early signing period like college basketball?
    A: An early signing period? Probably not. I want to sign with my teammates.

    Q: Have you been much of a peer recruiter for Miami? Have you communicated with any prospective recruits about attending school with you?
    A: No I haven't. I know that I could change my mind about Miami and go somewhere else.

    Q: What are 3 things on your 'Bucket List'?
    A: (1) To build myself a house in Hawaii. (2) To go skydiving. (3) To win and National Championship.

    Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
    A: The biggest influence in my life is my father. He's struggling and I want to be able to put him and my family in a better situation.



    Prior to contributing to HuskerMax, Jeremy Pernell co-founded the all football website N2FL.com. He served as the editor in chief of the college football portion of the website which focused heavily on recruitment and talent analysis, including the NFL Draft. You can email him at N2FL@hotmail.com.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Sounds like this kid wants to be a Husker!
    1. Navythomas8's Avatar
      Navythomas8 -
      Hmmmm... Interesting N2FL! To say the least!
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