It took some time before the Stanford Cardinal were able to land their first commit in the 2014 class, but the wait was probably worth it as Mansfield (Texas) Timberview safety Brandon Simmons made the call Saturday during an unofficial visit:
A consensus four-star prospect, Simmons is ranked as the no. 12 safety in the country by the 247Sports Composite and the no. 20 player in the state of Texas. Overall, the same rankings have him as as top-200 prospect nationally.
The offer list for the teammate of LSU commit Edward Paris is even more impressive -- with close to 30 overall, national powers like LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, and UCLA all pursued the 6-0, 175-pounder.
A likely free safety prospect in college because of his rangy build, Simmons plays field safety for Timberview, where he is often tasked with providing support in coverage. And though Simmons doesn't appear to walk up when he is asked to man up on opposing inside receivers, he does have the quick feet to hang in coverage and a willingness to use his hands to re-direct opponents down the field and knock them off their routes.
In run support, he is a willing tackler who will need to add some strength in college, but he does a solid job of wrapping up and can deliver some significant blows when ranging towards the sideline to make plays. When Simmons isn't able to square up opponents, he does a nice job of taking them out at their legs -- he's not a player who gets caught tackling opponents high.
Otherwise, he doesn't rank as one of the top hitters in the state for his class, though that says more about the competition in that regard than it does about Simmons lacking the ability to make opponents pay for coming across the middle.
As a sophomore, the stats that the coveted Timberview product put up tell the tale of his impact -- 100 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 15 passes broken up.
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