"Tackling is really my strong suit," said Malik Simmons
on his game. "I'm rangy and can go sideline-to-sideline. I consider myself a student of the game. When I'm out there I always go full speed."
Simmons, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, is up to nine offers. Middle Tennessee
was the most recent team to extend an offer, but Simmons says many schools are still showing a lot of interest.
was here on Friday to see me play," Simmons stated. "Wesley McGriff, their secondary coach, was here. Maryland
has always shown a lot of interest. I've also heard from Miami
During the summer, Simmons attended a Nike Camp at the University of Miami and he went to a camp run by Miami's head coach Al Golden. At this time, Simmons says three programs stand out to him.
"Out of the schools who have offered I'm liking UNC, Wake Forest
and Boston College
," Simmons said. "I want to go somewhere and get a good education. I'd like to feel like I'd be a good fit within the program. If I don't have the opportunity to continue playing after college I want to be in a place I would want to live, so the community is also important."
It was in his sophomore season when Simmons began to receive recruiting attention. Lehigh made it to the third round of the state 3A playoffs. It was also the last season Simmons played mainly in the secondary putting up 52 tackles, three pass breakups, one interception and a fumble recovery. Since then, his coaches have moved him to quarterback.
"They seem to think I can be a playmaker," Simmons says jokingly. "We started off 0-2 on the season, but the goal is to win State. I think we can do it. Once we start playing together as one, I don't see anybody beating us."
Lehigh had two tough defeats falling in their first game by two to Fort Myers and by four in their second game to Dunbar. Simmons was starting to heat up against Dunbar with 61 yards on nine carries, but left at the start of the forth due to injury. He's good to go this week when the Lightening take on South Fort Myers. He wants to try to fit in a few visits somewhere in between to prospective colleges.
"I want to visit North Carolina
for sure," said Simmons. "Wake has been talking to me about coming up for games or practices. I have a good relationship there with (secondary coach) Steve Russ. He keeps in touch pretty regularly. There's no real timeframe for me on my decision. When I feel it I feel it."
Simmons ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the Miami camp. He competes for his high school's track team in the 4x1, 4x4, 200, and 400. He wears No. 10 for the Lehigh Lightning. The school's campus is located in the town of Lehigh Acres.
Lehigh Senior High School, in the Fort Myers area of southwest Florida, has produced some notable cornerbacks which include Jeremy Ware of the Oakland Raiders and Phillip Buchanon of the Washington Redskins. Malik Simmons is hoping to become the next big-time cornerback who played for the Lehigh Lightning.
Richard Stover talked with the new signal caller for his team.