Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
Opposing coaches praise Wildcats’ Simmons
Dax Goff (34) of Booneville carries the ball as Wyatt Simmons (10) and Peyton Cole (30) of Harding Academy pursue, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, during the first quarter of the Wildcats’ 44-14 win at Bearcat Stadium in Booneville. Visit nwaonline.com/220917Daily/ for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)
Harding Academy linebacker Wyatt Simmons’ recruitment has exploded since the release of his highlight videos and opposing coaches aren’t surprised.
Simmons, 6-3, 215 pounds, has added offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Auburn, SMU, UNLV, Arkansas State, UAB, Southern Miss and others after posting junior highlights a few days ago.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman extended an offer on Thursday.
Arkadelphia coach Trey Schucker was very impressed with Simmons in the Badgers’ 31-28 loss to the Wildcats in the Class 4A state semifinals.
“He played every snap the same way, full speed and with a lot of violence,” Schucker said. “He is a great tackler and was the best linebacker that we played against last season.”
Simmons recorded 84 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 6 sacks, an interception and 2 recovered fumbles as a junior while also having 12 rushes for 61 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 catches for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Harding Academy loss the Class 4A state title to Malvern, but Simmons caught the eye of Leopards coach JD Plumlee with 9 tackles, a tackle for a loss and 3 rushes for 18 yards and a touchdown.
“Fast, physical, and great IQ of the game,” Plumlee said. “He saw it (the play) so good, he would beat you to the hole.”
The son of Harding University head football coach Paul Simmons, Simons showed off his speed in a 45-13 win over Stuttgart.
“He chased down one of our fastest players after he caught a slant route and the corner fell down,” Ricebird coach Josh Price said. “His hustle and effort just stood out on every play.”
Valley View coach Sean Cockrell said Simmons’ closing speed and ability to get to the ball stands out.
“He has a motor,” Cockrell said. “You can tell he understands the game. We will have to know where he is at all times.”
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.