Four schools stand out for Simmons

Lakeland, which has sent its share of recruits to Florida over the years, has another outstanding playing coming up through the ranks in 2015 running back T.J. Simmons (6-0, 195, Lakeland, FL). Simmons was in Gainesville for Saturday’s junior day, a visit that went very well.

“Junior day was pretty good; I had a good time,” Simmons said. “I got to tour the facilities and be around a lot of great athletes and see the coaches. I had a good time and it helped me get closer to my decision.”

After touring the facilities with the rest of the prospects in town for junior day, Simmons had the opportunity to go watch the Gators crush the Aggies, 69-36 at a packed O-Dome.

“I went to the basketball game against Texas A&M,” Simmons said. “Aww man it was phenomenal in the arena with the crowd in there. I’ve never been to a Gator game before but it was awesome. They have great fan support and they are really good. It’s very loud in there.”

When the basketball game was over Simmons had the opportunity to head back to the football facility where he had a sit down talk with offensive coordinator Kurt Roper about his plans for the Gators’ offense.

“Coach Roper was telling me about all of the good things that he’s going to do with the offense at Florida this year,” Simmons said. “I look forward to seeing what all he has in store for the offense.”

After speaking with Roper, Simmons had a chance to talk with his main recruiter, running backs coach Brian White, about his future.

“Coach White, we talk a lot on the phone so we just touched base on Saturday,” Simmons said. “He was telling me that my time was coming and that I’m one of his top guys and that I could be a guy to change things at the University of Florida. He said that he looks forward to recruiting me more and he wants me at Florida.”

Simmons ended his visit sitting down with head coach Will Muschamp, who told Simmons he was a wanted man in Gainesville.

“I really like Coach Muschamp,” Simmons said. “When I went into his office we touched base on the recruiting board and he was telling me about what I could do to get better just small stuff. He said that he wants me to visit other schools but at the end of that he wants me to come back to Florida and make sure that’s home for me.”

Simmons will take Muschamp’s advice, take some visits and then make a decision during his final year at Lakeland High School.

“This spring I’m going to visit some other colleges,” Simmons said. “I want to get a chance to compare them to Florida. I plan to make a decision during my senior year after I gain some more maturity in my decision.”

With dozens of offers already Simmons has narrowed things down to a top four list of schools and he plans to visit all of those schools.

“I’ve been offered by a lot of schools but I’ve been narrowing it down,” Simmons said. “I’ve narrowed it down to Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Clemson so after I visit all of those schools I will make my decision.”


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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.