Former consensus four-star recruit Delvon Simmons will play for USC, as the Texas Tech transfer has made up his mind to join a team he almost committed to out of high school:
Texas Tech transfer defensive lineman Delvon Simmons announced via Twitter that he is headed to #USC.— Gerard Martinez (@gmartlive) June 5, 2013
Simmons will sit out the 2013 season, but will have two seasons of eligibility. USC was his first visit after declaring his transfer, although he also considered Miami and some Pennsylvania schools, so this isn't really a surprise.
The McKeesport, Pennsylvania native was ranked a four-star by most services and a five-star by Scout, placing as the No. 7 defensive tackle recruit in the country in 247's rankings. Although he developed a relationship with Ed Orgeron at USC, he picked North Carolina, but asked out of his letter of intent with the Tar Heels to join Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech. But as SB Nation's Viva the Matadors wrote, his time with the Red Raiders wasn't so great: he got into the lineup as a true freshman and started every game as a sophomore, recording 27 tackles and two sacks. Decent production, but not exactly what one might expect from a recruit as highly touted as he was. With the switch in coaching staffs, he decided to leave Lubbock.
As the Trojans switch defensive coordinators from Monte Kiffin to Clancy Pendergast, the way the team runs its front line will change. Instead of listing one defensive tackle and one nose tackle, the team's depth chart features a more conventional 4-3 look with one nose tackle and last year's starters at the two tackle spots -- George Uko and Leonard Williams -- now shifted out to defensive end. At 6'5, 290 pounds, Simmons likely has the bulk to hold down the middle.
Competition for the nose tackle spot will be fierce for the entirety of Simmons' time at USC. After spring, Lane Kiffin listed the starters at nose tackle for this upcoming year as either Antwaun Woods, a one-time four star recruit headed into his sophomore year, and Cody Temple, a sophomore will play his first significant playing time on defense after switching from center before last season. But the most intriguing name might be Kenny Bigelow, the five-star recruit considered by some the best defensive tackle in the Class of 2013. He's just a freshman, but is expected to get snaps as a backup. Bigelow and Simmons is one of the more fearsome defensive tackle pairings any recruiting analyst could've imagined, and they'll be fighting for playing time.