SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Terry Simmons has had a busy offseason.
The Calvary Day interior lineman announced his final five schools on Twitter at the end of March – Wake Forest, Duke, Northwestern, Georgia Tech and UCF – and has been striving to drop 15 pounds for his senior season.
Simmons was a key component of the Cavaliers’ defense this year, recording 67 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and three sacks. Even on a team with several other Division I recruits, Simmons stood out on tape and earned plenty of attention from colleges as a result.
WSAV sports director Andrew Goldstein sat down with the rising senior to talk about the state of his recruitment.
Transcript has been lightly edited for grammar, syntax and brevity.
Q: Between the end of the season in December and now, what have you been up to?
A: Its been a lot. The main thing I’ve been working on is getting my weight down, getting it to 295, getting faster. Recruitment-wise, I’ve kind of been all over.
Q: You’ve gotten offers from Iowa State, Georgia Tech, UCF, a lot of others. When you get them, does a coach physically come up to you and hand you a piece of paper? Do they mail you the letter? How does the physical process of getting an offer work?
A: Getting an offer is when the position coach or the head coach or coordinator call you up, maybe they see you in person, they shake your hand and let you know verbally that you have an offer. It’s not going to be a text message or a piece of mail. It has to come from the source.
Q: What do coaches see about your game that they like?
A: I’m 300 pounds and I can move really well. I’m very quick off the ball and I can make plays from sideline to sideline as a tackle.
Q: What kind of visits have you taken so far?
A: I’ve taken visits to Duke, North Carolina, UCF, really almost everywhere in the southeast I’ve been.
Q: Among all those visits, is there one that stands out to you? Maybe not even your favorite, but is there one that’s even a little bit more memorable than the rest?
A: Out of my Top 5, I’ve been to four schools and those schools definitely stick out the most. UCF, Duke and Georgia Tech, those three definitely stood out the most on my visit. I have not been to Northwestern yet, but it feels like those three schools have a family atmosphere and they’re just great college towns.
Georgia Tech is in downtown Atlanta, like, you might think it’s just a big city, but no, it’s a really nice campus up there. At UCF, it’s right near NASA, but UCF is a huge campus, great facilities. Duke’s beautiful, it’s secluded, so it’s a real college town.
Q: You mentioned NASA being right next to UCF, Duke, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, these are big-time academic places. That’s clearly pretty important to you. Have you given any thought to what you might want to study?
A: I have. It’s actually polar opposites, the two things I’m interested in. I’m interested in aerospace engineering and I’m also interested in psychology. I’ve liked aerospace every since I was young, so I grew up that. Psychology was more of a personal thing for me. I want to understand how the mind works and how people think and how people function in their own lives.
Q: For UCF, I know your teammate Troy Ford is committed there. You’ve got a couple of South Georgia guys going in this 2022 class; it seems like they’ve put a hard press on the area. What does Troy tell you about his recruiting experience and does that factor into your recruiting decision for them at all?
A: Definitely. When you’re committing to a team, those are going to be your brothers. Knowing that if I was to go to UCF, I’d have Troy there, man, Troy and I talk all the time. Outside of football, we’re friends. He’s more likely family. UCF having Troy is a big thing.
Q: Do you have any kind of timeline for when you want to make your final decision?
A: I would like to make my decision on June 25th, but I am open to pushing that back. It depends on how my recruiting goes.
Q: You mentioned wanting to shed weight and get faster. Is there a specific milestone you’re looking to hit? Certain weight, certain 40-yard dash time?
A: Right now, I think for weight, I played this last season at 310 pounds without pads on. I wanted to get down to 290 or 295 just so I could be more cut so I could move faster and have better stamina. I feel like I had good stamina, but I have not reached my potential yet.
In the weight room, I’ve been hitting it hard. I reached all my milestones last year. I thought I was going to have to wait until my senior year, but last year, I hit over 500 pounds on squat, 365 on bench, 275 on power clean. I’ve really just been working to be a better me and keep pushing myself.
Q: The process for dropping 15, 20 pounds, what is that like for you? Is it mostly a lot of cardio? Do you have to change your diet?
A: When you’re trying to be a full-time athlete, it’s just changing your diet and staying disciplined with it. You’re already working out, you’re already doing what you’re supposed to do. If you’re series about being an athlete, it’s just having people around that will hold you accountable. Only you know what you do with your body, but if you have people around you, they’re gonna help you.
Q: At the next level, do you project as a one-technique, three-technique, have you been given any indication about where on the line teams would want to play you?
A: My coaches said that the main reason they’re recruiting me is my versatility. For my team at Calvary, I’ve been able to play the one, the three, the five. Usually I’d be a nose tackle or a three-technique, depending on the scheme they’re running. Coaches see me as a player that would be able to play everywhere.
TERRY’S TWITTER: https://twitter.com/SimmonsTerryy
TERRY’S HUDL: https://www.hudl.com/profile/13004280/Terry-Simmons