One of the top offered prospects in the state of Michigan is 2017 Ann Arbor, MI (Pioneer) four-star OLB Antjuan Simmons, who is currently committed to Ohio State and has been for quite sometime now. Well, Simmons recruitment was a interesting one and certainly a different one.
About a year ago, his recruitment started to really pick up and the offers started to come in quickly. When he started his junior season, he had eight total offers. When October came around, Notre Dame had offered. The Fighting Irish was Simmons second Power Five school to offer. By the time his junior season ended, Simmons was receiving offers weekly from schools like, Ohio State, Georgia, Texas A&M, and more.
Simmons playing at Pioneer High School, located only a street over from the Big House and only two blocks from Bo Schembechler Hall. Many Michigan fans started to get worried when Simmons did not receive an offer from Michigan yet. However, when the Wolverines did finally offer Simmons, it seemed too late in his recruitment. Despite being very interested in The Wolverines and a few visits after his offer from Michigan. Simmons ended up committing to Michigan’s biggest rival, Ohio State on March 1st.
Since his commitment to The Buckeyes his recruitment has gone quiet and from the outside looking in, his recruitment is over. However, that is not the case. The Wolverines led by Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown are making another run at Simmons. Not to mention, but he appears to be interested in Michigan and what they have to say.
Michigan has started their pursuit of Simmons by visiting his high school the first day of spring evaluation. A period where coaches can travel across the country and meet with recruits face-to-face. Michigan coach, Don Brown, made a big impression on Simmons.
“I been contact with Coach Brown for a little bit now,” Simmons told me about Don Brown. “He came by my school the first day recruiting opened up and we talked. Coach Brown is definitely the real deal man he’s about that action you know. Letting me know I was one of his top guys at that sam linebacker position and just to come over. He knew none of the coaches came over to visit me ever, so he’s trying to turn over a new leaf.”
One of the biggest factors that played into Simmons commitment to Ohio State was his relationship with the staff and if he felt welcome into the program. Not to mention, his mother who also plays a big role in his recruitment. Knowing this, Don Brown is trying to build a relationship with Simmons and his mother.
“My commitment to Ohio State is solid,” Simmons informed me. “Those coaches have been there and been real since day one, they didn’t play any games and they believed in me. However, I can definitely tell Coach Brown is trying to build a relationship with me. Our relationship is getting better over time, very slowly though. He’s made me a priority, he’s been reaching out to talk to me and my mom, so he’s definitely been trying to turn over a new leaf.”
The Michigan coaching staff is trying to make a new impression on Simmons. As of right now, that starts with building a solid relationship with him and his mother. He is still committed to Ohio State; however, The Wolverines look to be a legit threat to take back a talented in-state prospect.
– Shane Kinnee (Senior Editor)