Nebraska wasn't afraid to go head-to-head with Miami for a kid out of Florida, and the Huskers came out victorious with Greg Simmons.
The Fort Pierce (Fla.) Central linebacker was committed to Miami when the Huskers offered him on Feb. 27, 2015. Brian Stewart, his lead recruiter, convinced him to take a visit to Lincoln for Big Red Weekend a few months later.
"I got a chance to go to Nebraska and I liked everything about it," Simmons said on "The Bottom Line." "From the coaches down to the city. My father said 'just follow your heart and make the best decision possible.'"
Simmons was already familiar with the Huskers program when he made that first visit. His godfather, Wonder Monds, was an All-America defensive back for NU in the 1970's.
"He has pictures all around of Nebraska — I get kind of jealous," Simmons said. "But I’m going up there to beat his record. I’m going up there to be an All-American also."
During the 2015 season, Simmons had the interesting opportunity to see his new school (Nebraska) battle his old school (Miami). Though the Hurricanes won that one 36-33, Simmons never looked at the game as a comparison between the two programs.
"Win or lose, I'm still committed to the University of Nebraska," Simmons said on TBL leading up to the game. "It is probably one of the greatest schools in history."
Simmons has said he could play any of the linebacker positions in the NU defense. The four major recruiting services all ranked him as an inside linebacker, a consensus three-star prospect and No. 32 nationally at his position, according to the 247 composite.
Simmons has been a starter for three years at Fort Pierce Central, filling a variety of roles, although usually manning the middle linebacker spot. In 2014, Simmons logged 64 tackles and 19 tackles for loss. Simmons’ senior year was one for the books: 139 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and five forced fumbles, all from his middle linebacker spot.
Simmons has his work cut out for him if he wants to play linebacker quickly for the Huskers, since NU has two linebackers — Josh Banderas and Tyrin Ferguson — who fit the bill in the middle. Simmons has a nose for the ball, though, and plenty of passion for the position. He needs to settle in, find a role on special teams early and work on getting quicker off the ball. Simmons is a fierce hitter and good pass rusher. Nebraska likes linebackers and targeted Simmons early in the process.
Below is Simmons' Twitter announcement from when he committed to Nebraska:
Photo: Photo courtesy of Fort Pierce Central High School
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