DT Jerome Simmons (6-4 333) played his high school football at Bamberg-Ehrhardt. He was not a heavily recruited player, so after the 2022 season, he signed with Highland JC, KS to improve his recruiting stock and his grades. That turned out to be a smart move.
Georgia offered Simmons in late September becoming the first Power Five program to recognize his talents on the major college level. Tuesday night USC became the second.
Simmons said he first talked with the Gamecocks last season and was invited to work out for defensive tackles coach Travian Robertson in camp in June. He took the Gamecocks up on their offer.
“The coaches came up to me and they were like, all eyes on you today, and I was like, alright, it is what it is,” Simmons said. “I did the best I could out there, and they said they’d be in touch.”
That call from Robertson came Tuesday afternoon.
“Coach Robertson called me twice, but I was at practice, and I was like I’ve got to hurry up and call him back. We were talking and he was like, your film looked better this year. He asked me how my recruiting was going, and I was like, it’s slowed down a little bit. He was like, you want to get it back on the road. I was like, yes sir. He was like, congratulations, you just got an offer from South Carolina.”
Getting the offer from the home state school gives Simmons something brand new to think about as his recruitment continues.
“It’s a big decision between all the schools I really want to go to,” Simmons said. “I want to go somewhere that makes me feel comfortable and where the coaches have the best in mind for me, and for me to keep chasing my dream. With that offer, it’s pretty nice. It’s very close to home where my family and all my friends can come out and watch me.”
Robertson wants Simmons to visit in November but he’s not sure he’ll be able to because of his team’s schedule, especially if they make a bowl. But he doesn’t graduate until May, so there’s time for a visit down the road.
Simmons has scheduled an official visit to Georgia for December 9th. He also has offers from Coastal Carolina, which was his early favorite before the bigger guys offered, Marshall, Jackson State, Charlotte, Akron and Jacksonville State.
Through 16 games at Highland, Simmons has 49 tackles with nine tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He’s also forced two fumbles and deflected a pass. He will have three years to play two at the next level.