ATLANTA — It might not be possible for a recruit ranked as one of the 10 best at his position to receive less publicity than Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek linebacker Trenton Simpson.
He doesn’t tweet out top school lists on a weekly basis, preferring to more quietly go about the business of getting better at his craft and researching his schools.
At 6’2 and 220 pounds, though Simpson is hard to miss. At the Under Armour All-America Camp in Atlanta on the last day of March, Simpson showed he belongs with the nation’s best with his athleticism and size combination. And for his work, his performance at the camp earned him an invite to the Under Armour All-America Game in the winter.
He sized up his background and recruitment in a conversation with SB Nation.
1. Linebacker is a new position for Simpson.
He previously played running back, with 2018 being his first full season on defense. He thinks that having played running back before helps him defensively.
“It helps me to know how a running back thinks, where the offense wants to go,” he said.
He also runs the 100m and 200m for his school’s track team.
Simpson has recently visited a number of schools, including Auburn, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Pen State, Virginia Tech, and Tennessee.
2. North Carolina stands out to him, as it was his first offer.
While he does not have an official top-five list, or even plans to release one, North Carolina would be the school guaranteed a spot if such a list existed.
Despite seemingly favoring the local school, Simpson insists distance is not an issue.
3. He still wants to visit Oklahoma, LSU, and Miami. He claims offers from each.
An official visit to Oklahoma is possible on April 13, but is still being worked out. Simpson said that he speaks with Oklahoma often, with the message being that while some schools recruiting him are building to win, the Sooners are already built to win.
Simpson does research depth charts to see who schools have signed, but says that he does not make early playing time a deciding factor in his recruitment.
4. An offer from Clemson would be a game-changer.
The Tigers are the defending national champions, and Simpson says that he speaks with defensive coordinator Brent Venables “a lot.”
As it’s been in other recent classes, Clemson is extremely picky in recruiting for 2020. Multiple elite prospects have wanted in, only to find out the Tigers do not have room.
5. A decision could come on June 14, or not.
The original plan was to announce on his birthday, June 14. But if he is not ready, he will push it back. One thing Simpson does not want to do is to make a decision before he has all the information he needs, or before he takes his visits.
With another year at linebacker, Simpson should only improve.